The Sorceress

“You think
a few tears upset me? My friend,
every sorceress is
a pragmatist at heart.”
“Circe’s Power,” Louise Glück

You’re having a difficult time
not thinking about the man
you were dating in the fall,
keep reminding yourself not
to message him at night when
you’re drinking, and you only
listen some of the time. But
you’ve never been a burner
of bridges, and when you’re
sitting at the Whole Foods bar
with a friend recounting this,
she tells you that “it’s okay to be
was, to be past,” but you still talk
to your first college boyfriend,
your ex-husband, men you knew
less well than these, so this
is an approach you’re unlikely
to embrace. Circe is the goddess
you’re currently asking for
guidance and clarity, and in
Waterhouse’s third depiction
of her, she’s seated at a table,
pensive, chin propped
in her hands. You don’t see her
power, but you know it’s there.
An overturned goblet spills
its contents, wine or poison,
and she’s not looking at the book
of spells open beside her. What
she’s contemplating seems to be
something else entirely. Maybe
Odysseus, maybe not.