Two Poems by Eros Livieratos

Melencolia’s Samsara

 after Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia I, 1514

                       I remember when I was beautiful. I was observed obsessively. My body was an open canvas. My mind was full. I remembered my sisters—their glistening beams of light and the violence they endured. Away from Albrecht, away from the infant, away from the dog—I met with a Boddhisatva. I wished to be empty. 

                       On the day I swallowed the sun, there was a man standing on a hill. He had masturbated to my hips as I began to collapse. The struggle of brushstrokes felt much calmer than these physical pains. When samsara continued, I unraveled the man. My fingers in his core, spinning with the splendor of a pulsar. 

                       When the world went dark, I became the sun. My warmth covered the rapists and the indignant. Hubristic murderers infiltrated my reach. My sides became everlasting highways and so, I covered the rapists and the murderers, and the lovers separated by picnic baskets in late spring where I was expected to be.  My expectations outgrew me. I tried my best. 

                       I kissed everyone, the unable and the diseased, the imperfect Adonises and their gender fluid queens. I felt children reaching out for me, small breaths grasping my hued abstractions. When mountain goats kissed the lamb, I began to feel tired. The weight of infinite needs drove down my sides and bit away at my color, I wanted to weep but the form was steam. 

                       Boddhi talked of purpose and place but I, I felt an overwhelming frustration. As if my core was swallowing itself, I wanted nothing to do with form. Samsara continued and I burned the rings of Saturn, locked in intercourse with planetoidal debris. I wept as our bodies entangled, forming spherical vines lit by nameless dead stars. I am tired of the cycles.

                       When I was beautiful, I wished to live beyond Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia I. When I walked outside, I found nothing of beauty. I saw the eyes of men and I wanted to save my sisters, to shield them from millennia of responsibility. I became the sun and as the days went, my light turned to decay. Every second was agonizing. Every second was natural. When I returned to the engraving, I was a nameless Venus. My body unrecognizable, my beauty substantial, and my presence—a suffering.



Eros Livieratos (He/They) is a Greek-Belizean writer & artist whose work focuses on the intersection of identity, aesthetics, and capital in the Anthropocene. Eros has published poetry, fiction, non-fiction, comics, photography, and film score work. They can usually be found making harsh noise & screaming in your local basement.