‘Yet certain accents of your name shall echo
“Ai, Ai,” within the music of my lyre.’
                                                                                    – Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book X

First open the ἀρτηρία
With a clean blade,
Drawing but three petals of blood.
Then clean and oil the sword
Before returning it to its scabbard
And inscribing, with these petals,
The character for Φιλία
Upon the tear-stained wound.
In time, a Ὑάκινθος will grow
From this anointed lesion,
To the tune of your
Apollonian wail.

Melvin Chen is a Singaporean philosopher, poet and painter. His poems have appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, while his philosophy has been accepted for publication in Philosophy & Literature, Philosophical Forum, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, and elsewhere. He is also an invited Reviewer for the Croatian Journal of Philosophy. He speaks English, Mandarin, Norwegian, Danish, and French, and is learning Slovak, the native language of his muse and fiancée.​

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