Could I have kept you, my Prince?
Was I so blinded by your shine?
I left the altar when the incense burned
sharp with young pine.
I pulled off cap after cap
in the thicket of trees, embraced
blond after blond, but none of them
sang of Dylan or came close
to your cascading gold.
I know the woods where
you still live. In dreams
I find you draped in green, waiting
beside the well, just-dipped hair
dripping, hands of wildflowers.
You don’t change.
Ellen Austin-Li’s work has appeared in Artemis, Thimble Literary Magazine, The Maine Review, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Rust + Moth, and other places. She’s published two chapbooks with Finishing Line Press: Firefly (2019) and Lockdown: Scenes From Early in the Pandemic (2021). She is an MFA candidate at the Solstice Low-Residency Program. Ellen lives with her husband in a newly empty nest in Cincinnati, Ohio. Find her work @ http://www.ellenaustinli.me.