When the Maenads came,
he dropped his lyre slightly and remembered
how each string was silk
like she was silk, a tunic he wore like skin.
The flash of love she heaved out of her eyes:
the disappearing autumn
spent lingering in empty trees,
stirring like imitation leaves.
He did not stop singing when they ripped
his head off—he sang to Lesbos
like old olive branches to the