Sappho: Redoubt with Refrain

by Heather Treseler

In sickness, I found health, which is to say
a pulse deeper than my own or that which drums
in my lover’s chest when she comes to me in all

her dusk, her dark candescence warming my thinned
veins. In sickness, a new health, which is to say some
measure or metric of small joy in the cool hum abiding

under the bright stun of fever in my brain. Something,
yet unnamed, insists its current to bleared eye, aching
limb; some promise of mirth-cake and twilit dancing,

the salving silk of my lover’s skin. In sickness, an instinct
(half-animal) to stay the body’s house, to ride out its storm
and ruin, to dwell in its shorn rooms, its odd-song of being.

Published on September 7, 2017