"After Sappho": a poem by Rachael Boast

On this dark earth,
the night ambush at the blockades,
peace envoys in the arms trade,
operation Odyssey, the shock and the awe,
all these are an insult to the power of love.

Understand this, it’s easy:
a thousand ships in pursuit of a woman —
who only wanted to hide her face
in one man’s embrace —
stood no chance against the undertow

of love’s will — which brings me back to you:
how I too, in disdain for the checkpoints
of the mind, slipped past the guards
with their yes or no answers, outwitted Mars
and went after you.

I carry in my heart this clannish chant
for a compass. And always
it knows where you are,
just as you know, by the light of the stars,
that our love’s a moon too new to be seen.