Poetry:

As True As Troilus
By Jayne Amara Ross
I hold such bated breath
My hand a brimming trove
I hold such spinning wheel
That my years gape wide.
And I say yes, as true as Troilus.
The moon having all to do with it, we wait and speak of nothing. I stare at your wealth as a
moth would at a light.
Our lies squeak like bus breaks on a boring hill.
As false as Cressida you take my hand.
I look into your eyes as into a foreign vowel, gathering my last words around me like
photographs in a flood.
I hold such bated breath
My hand a brimming trove
I hold such spinning wheel
That my years gape wide.
I could take this to you later
But I take this to you now
I must act quickly, you see,
Before my mind invents a cold.
Their love ran a faultless course, their eyes trained on the same source, their hearts pregnant
like salmon with millions of tiny hopes.
Troilus: girl-shy but brash-hearted, on the cusp of full living.
Cressida: bright-eyed but wary, bouncing on caution’s weakest knee.
And when she left, gutting the house of its contents as she went, a cold emptiness replaced the
full feeling, leaving him as hollow-bloated as the deflating bulb of the stomach that
remembers the child, love nursing us all into need.
Banking on the deep well of their love to bring up water, he waited nine days for her return,
his patience a novena of noble longing.
And I say yes, as true as Troilus.
In privacy of heart
I shuffle vagary
And trick and the millions
Suck at my bowels like mice.
Like a boy Troilus begged for her return, rumors of her dissension like the cruel whisper of
the winter wind hissing through the porch teeth. Nine days of wondering how the clock could
summon up enough vim to muscle through the minutes. And on the tenth day something died,
swelling like a tumor on the April path, ten days of sitting still, only to hear his heart break
those ten times over.On the tenth day something died
Swelling like a tumor the April path.
Ten days of sitting still
My body buckling like the belly of an accordion.
And I stay true, as true as Troilus, and as I wait for you my life grows cold in waiting. Your
truth sedated in the sleep-hub and your silence at the helm of our wreckage, I sit alone in my
confusion, dwarfed in not knowing why, my heart like a brass instrument that is spittle-heavy,
wheezing out.
In the small font of a footnote, I beg for the tight screw, the green light, the hungry flutter of
white hands at the blackening keys, to hammer out my own truth, weave a sharp confession,
my knuckles chiming over the launch pad like church bells.
That to be pianist
And hunger at the keys
In dreams airlifted out
From where I toss alone in scrimmage.
In dreams airlifted out, in dreams airlifted out,
In dreams airlifted out from where I toss alone in scrimmage…
I catalogue the moments of our beginnings
Remembering how my body shifted like an easy tide
As you pinned me to you.
In these days of endless complaint,
I raise my hand to cover my eye,
As you did to yours, only to second,
An open eye for yours, a heart for yours,
A promise for yours, only to hold
In jest, in dreams, in supplications,
In jest.

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