Friedrich Nietzsche and the Birth of Tragedy

Maybe I’m a Teutonic Daedalus
tramping the misty streets of Leipzig
at dawn, peering into store-front
windows spotted with frost. I give birth

to dancing stars in my head: the parados
and exodos trilled by a goat-chorus
with wine-stained lips. The words
of Apollo and the music of Dionysus
are blood on a marble floor, epic and
lyric, shimmering, until the gods choke

on my labyrinth flesh. Eventually, all stars
die with sparks and smoke, leaving unlit
lanterns and red brick buildings washed
in winter rain. Imagination never saved

Schopenhauer from sadness, and I walk
among gelded horses pattering their hooves
through puddles, beneath bloated clouds

strangling the sky. I raise my forehead
to fight the storm, but there are so many
faces I’ve never seen on these endless
streets, so many white arms I’ll never
touch, and Icarus drowned in loneliness
long before wax wings strapped his back.