Most unkingly king, to have held my life in your hands,
Only to open your fist and let it slip into the wind
Like sand blowing across a storm-battered beach.
The stones of my walls have crumbled into desolation,
There is no brave Hector to defend my lost honor.

Where once I was a queen I am now a beggar,
Beseeching you to throw me your crumbs from a table
Where I once resided over as mistress of my own fate,
Giving away my unwanted scraps and laughing at the
Dirt-faced urchins crawling beneath my silk-slippered feet.

Do you hear me howling, now that I must make my home
Outside the gilded walls of your palace? The gates closed,
Denying me of my oft-frenzied joy, a cold iron
Rejection of who I am, now that I’ve left behind the
Jewel-encrusted shell of what I once was.

Do you hear me crying on the gusts of cool air that
blow through the open windows of your ivory tower,
rattling your walls, turning sorrow into dust?
Do you care that my cries haunt the corners of the
Room where we once promised eternity?

What’s Hecuba to you, unkingly king? Why should
You waste your petty celebrations and sacrificial fires
On one such as me, laid low by devastating indifference
And the cold injustice of your false gods? Who is this
Creature that claws at your feet for chances wasted?

Do you remember who we were before the fall,
when we frolicked in a care-free garden of wild hyacinths
and blooms of May, purple hues reflecting the sky above,
when the sun cared enough to warm my upturned face
with its golden rays and we laughed in the madness of spring?

Do you remember? What’s Hecuba to me, now? A life
Once lived and now lost in a knotted tapestry, defeated and
Cast away on the ocean breeze to find more forgiving shores.
A woman who could elicit passion from the gods, grown dull,
Unable to stop the violent hands and harsh tongues of age.

Alexandra Graffeo is an emerging poet from Staten Island, New York.