is this how orpheus felt? By Alice van Duuren

is this how orpheus felt?

is this how orpheus felt?
i know she is gone
i have seen it with my own eyes
felt it with my very soul
in the coldness
in the emptiness
as if the gods has reached out and plucked the sun
expecting the nearby stars to compensate for her absence
because she is gone, gone like the wild thing she is

she was an addict
alcohol, pills, you name it, she did it
arms a line of scars and a personality of extremes
my eurydice
she was tortured and it wasn’t beautiful at all
each addiction and demon chased her relentlessly
day after day after day
poisoning her
dragging her to the very hell

recovery was the moment of hope
a kindness from the gods, one could say
i was tentative with my joy
the gods had been kind in this way before
but i was a child
and as tentative as i was
my hope filled my whole soul

and how did it end?
my eurydice faltered
she tripped and fell, scraped her knees
but i kept my faith, kept it like all children try
i smiled and cleaned the cans away
i told her not to wash the pills down with her beer
i danced with her when she was happy
and kept my distance when she was mad, so that later she would not regret bruises she saw on my skin


she was gone before i turned around
orpheus at least got a glance before death took his love
me? i have a noise
thump! thump! thump!
gods, just tell me
it’s the least you can do for stealing away my sun
is this how orpheus felt?
is it?

By Alice van Duuren


Alice van Duuren is a nonbinary writer who used to hate both reading and poetry. Admittedly they were 13 at the time and hated just about everything. Since then, they have studied English Literature, Tourism, and Screen Production and in 2016 will at last be studying Creative Writing. In their free time, Alice likes to daydream about dragons, cuddle with cats and dogs, and have ice cream for breakfast more than they probably should. Based in New Zealand, they are proud of say they live with both a cat and a dog. Whether the cat and dog are proud to be living with them is still up for discussion.

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