Not really an explanation for this one. All I can say is that I was greatly inspired after reading this poem in my english class. It's entitled, "Eros" by Anne Stevenson.
Please enjoy! Reviews greatly welcomed, dearies!
The dawning of days spread like dust motes upon the wind, flitting in and out of the sunlight, diaphanous and light. Dark mornings brought promise far and wide between, while sunny mornings brought a different kind of despair.
It was difficult, conceivably, to live in this manner until day's end, but such was the custom of life. All who lived presently and had lived before knew the truth of this, and those who had yet to come would inevitably bite of this fruit of knowledge. Yet there were some who chose to ignore life's gentle pull towards the mundane and day-to-day. They strove to find more than that what was plainly presented, to peek around corners of walls built by words. They would grasp tightly onto the bricks, layered with false sentiments and statements as a sort of temporary cement. These brave few abandoned recklessly a life of expectation and somewhat security, foolishly thinking themselves either higher than what was satisfactory for the rest of humanity, or too stubborn to accept what Fate had dealt them.
For Sarah, it was a sprinkling of both. Childhood had always been the pinnacle of stubbornness in her life, what with fighting creatures out of fairytale lore and restrictive parents. But as an adult, she hardly clung to such juvenile inclinations anymore. Not only was it nigh impossible, but it was fruitless. Living in a world of the business savvy and technically-advanced had prohibited such behavior, and after several failed, unimaginative relationships, she learned to be a little more relenting.
But this hardly constituted a life of conservatism, especially for Sarah. Such a soul as hers, always lively, always yearning, could not be subdued into the normality her coworkers and friends enjoyed so naturally. It could not be mistaken that she did not enjoy certain aspects of life, – dancing at friends' weddings, watching Toby's baseball games, vacationing in Cape Cod – but nothing, no matter the extremity of the occupation, could chase away the greedy, creeping feeling in the pit of her stomach: the dreaded ache for more.
I call for love
But help me, who arrives?
In her head, she drew pictures of what the perfect man should look like, how he should be. She resketched Osiris, Adonis, Thor, all of mythology's male specimens. Each was a different package, a different form, something both new and old to be examined and compared. She stole her male specimens from literature as well: Mr. Darcy, Romeo, Heathcliff. Again and again, she abused the fictitious characters she read about, the familiar names without the familiar faces. Each felt like a past lover, known intimately, yet never forgotten. There was one, however, that did not even begin to compare with the others.
She had dreamed of him every night, without fail, for ten years. Each dream was differing, even with the same reoccurring themes: the defiance, the battle, the retaliation, the surrender. They would quarrel as only lovers could, with harsh words and even harsher touches, with indifferent glares and burning glances. In the end, the journey mattered not. It was only the end result.
She reused him every night, fulfilling her desires and deepest longings in her subconscious, as well as in her awakened state when they would be replayed at the most awkward of moments, whether it was talking with a peer, reading a newspaper, or eating at a small diner. She detested herself for her imaginings, but he had abused her for thirteen hours, hadn't he? Wasn't she fully in her rights to do the same to him?
This night was no different. It was the anniversary of the night Sarah made the wish, the very same night in which she both met and defeated the Goblin King. As was her custom on this night, the entire sequence of the event played out in her mind in great detail, with every word she spoke to him and every hesitant gesture being especially pronounced in her memory. Even his beauty was greatly focused upon. He was splendid, clad desirously in his most regal clothing, causing even her real self to shudder as she slept.
Suddenly, a great shattering noise caused Sarah to awaken, drenched in a cold sweat and with the covers of her bed wrapped tightly around her waist. She glanced at her mirror on her dressed and noted, with a gasp, that the frame had been cracked, precisely in the middle. A dark shadow came over the moon, and at that exact moment, she felt a presence. A very sinister presence.
Meekly, she drew the covers away from her body, poised to run out of the room. A horrific realization spread through her when she realized that it was not have a normal break-in that was occurring, but a paranormal one, in fact. Her reason for drawing to this conclusion was that the cloud covering the moon had moved, revealing a statuesque Goblin King with a nightmarish mien of fury plastered to his face.
This thug with broken nose
And squinty eyes
He did not appear at all as he had appeared to her in her dreams. Gone was the devastatingly attractive monarch, his icy countenance a picture of pure beauty, and his body the inspiration for David. What was left of the colossal beauty was a damaged shell.
Great cuts spread across the bridge of his aquiline, perfect nose, zigzagging without method. His wonderfully mismatched eyes - the eyes she yearned to drown in during her most savage and yet weak-willed fantasies – were both glued shut and black-and-blue.
Eros my bully boy,
Can this be you,
They were both motionless; him, due to the obvious effort it would cause him to exert if he chose to move, and his unwillingness to exert it, and her, from pure shock.
"Jareth," she whispered, inaudible. Though she had not planned on it, his name flew to her lips reverently, as if she were in prayer. He heard her, despite the quiet sound she produced, and smirked knowingly, arrogantly. The action caused him to wince, to which she, in response, copied both involuntarily and sympathetically. He smiled again – gentler, this time – and it was bitter.
With boxer lips
And patchy wings askew?
"Sarah, dear heart, I would beg that you do not look so unhappily at me. After all, was it not I whom you dreamed of, I, that you so abused, night after night, for ten years?"
At his speech, her first instinct was to leap out of bed and slap him, but at a second glance at his horribly mangled face, she stopped herself, staring dejectedly at the face she caressed every night in her dreams. His gaze only darkened when she did not answer.
"Speak, my love," the word caused her to wince, "my angel, my darling. Was this not what you wanted? Well?" To dissipate his angry growl, she shook her head vehemently.
"Surely not! and just to be expected. Why would you ever want a bedmate with broken fingers, peeling skin, drooping eyelids? Am I as beautiful to you now, Sarah, as I was erewhile? Am I not Jareth, are you not Sarah?" A tear slid down her cheek at his perfectly-aimed Midsummer Night's Dream reference. She bit her lip to keep from moaning. He was purposely tormenting her, just as she had tormented him. Though his appearance was off, it was only too clear that his personality was completely in tact.
"After ten years, can you really ask that question, my dear? Ten years of fighting, bickering…not to mention making your wildest dreams come true." He crept closer to her, his steps fluid and graceful, despite his obvious discomfort. He approached her as a predator would, before jumping its' prey. "Every…last…one."
She shut her eyes against the awful truth. She had done this him. Her. All because of her selfish, self-producing loneliness. And she could only blame herself, really. She had, after all, walked away.
'Madam,' cries Eros,
'Know this brute you see
Is what long overuse
Has made of me.
He knelt beside her on the bed, his face much closer than it had been before.
"Tell me, Sarah, do you regret it now, knowing that I would end up looking this way? Would you rather not have let me be, a distant memory to be cherished, locked within the spacious confines of your imagination? Wouldn't you rather have had me preserved in all my splendor, rather than abuse me every night, using my face and body for your own pleasure?"
My face that so offends you
Is the sum
Of blows your lust delivered
One by one.
She had begun to sob at this point. "Oh God, please, I'm so sorry, Jareth, please…"
"No? You would rather me as I am now: cut, scraped, bitten, bleeding…at your hands, no less?" He was leaning closer to her now, his face strangely devoid of emotion, his face bitterly impassioned, and yet unattached, if it were at all possible.
"No! I would rather I had never done this to you at all!"
"Yes." He sounded less than convinced. "I'm sure you do." He leaned back then, giving her the opportunity to take a great sigh of relief. He appraised her slowly then, a huge grin overcoming his face. "Tell me, Sarah, did you feel disappointment at your dreams' ends…reluctance, even, to awaken from them? You seemed to enjoy them greatly whilst in the moment." He was openly jeering at her now, taunting to such a point that it was almost maddening. She should be mad at him, defiant, furious, but with the scars on his face, as well as the trickles of blood that would not clot yet, she did not have it within her to openly scorn him.
He clutched her wrist, imprinting small circles into her skin, soothingly, tantalizingly. "Do you wish to repeat last night's escapade, Sarah mine?"
She pursed her lips together, turning her head from his heated, seducing words and the betraying sound of her erratic heartbeat. It was what she had wanted for years. To touch him, feel him, hear his voice…
"Does the proposal not intrigue you in the slightest? Come, what is your answer. I must have it." He began to tease her neck with his teeth, making her answer come out in short gasps.
"This…is…not…hap-happening. P-please, Jareth, I'm s-sorry…"
"No, but you shall soon be." He removed his hands from her, to which she cried aloud in protest. He smiled, his lips curving into something both chilling and condescending. "Yes Sarah, I know of your desire for me. I did not come tonight to prove that. I came to prove how extraordinarily human you are." The word 'human' came out hissingly, as if the very sound of it upon his tongue disgusted him.
Tears continued to trail down her cheeks, unbidden. "You-you don't know what it's like," was her feeble excuse.
"No. Perhaps not," he replied coldly. "But it does not justify you stealing me from my duties to play the villain to your heroine. That time has passed, Sarah. Let it go."
She turned from him, her eyes drawn shut. Her dark, silky lashes pressed flattened onto her skin, shining iridescently in the moonlight. The sorrow in her heart was unmatchable, and she could not breathe for the breaking in her heart.
She heard him sigh, the breath hitching in his throat, then felt his comforting warmth as he slowly held her from behind.
"But you are mistaken, Sarah. I do understand how you feel. And though I wish to be as selfish as you and steal you to be in my dreams every night, I cannot. An entire kingdom relies on me to reign. I have the weight of a world on my shoulders."
She leaned back into his embrace, her voice raspy from constricting her sobs. "I wanted someone like you in reality, Jareth. When I couldn't find him, I settled for living in the night, where I could dream and be with you, the only one I wanted all along. I never thought this would be the result." She mentally slapped herself for being so pathetic towards him. With a startling revelation, she learned that she did not care. All that mattered was that she was with him, for however long, and she would not ruin the moment.
He sighed, utterly exhausted. "I know, Sarah."
"Do you hate me?"
He chuckled, nuzzling his bruised face into her hair. "As if I could."
A pleasant warmth spread through her at his gentle reassurance.
"Why didn't you cast me out, if I was hurting you?"
"'I only discern infinite passion, and the pain of finite hearts that yearn'," he quoted. "That, and because I am a being made of dreams, Sarah. I was meant to be in them. To reject that duty is to reject myself." He kissed her earlobe tenderly. "Not to mention, of course, that a certain beautiful young woman was rather adamant about having me star in her most secretive dreams. How could I possibly refuse her?"
She blushed crimson, the heat, for once, feeling comfortable rather than not so.
We slaves who are immortal
Gloss your fate
And are the archetypes
That you create.
"I have wanted only this, only you, for so long," she weakly confessed. "But if you can only be here, hurt and unhealed, because of me, I would rather I didn't have you at all." A silent pause ensued, whilst tears insistently leaked out of her eyes, betraying her even worse than her voice ever could.
"Do you want me to disappear forever, Sarah?" His tone was curious, but her experience with him for the past ten years taught her to read into his defenses. She turned in his arms, facing him sadly, tracing the bruises on his face with her fingers.
"I want you to stay with me until I rot away, or until the trees shrivel up into nothingness. Whichever happens first." Her youthful, expressive eyes shone with complete honesty. "But you are a king and there are hundreds of others who need you more than I do."
"You would not come with me?"
Sarah bit the inside of her lip to keep from answering in the positive. It took quite a few minutes of battling within herself before she had the strength to answer. She shook her head sadly, smiling. "You know that's not allowed, Jareth. No matter how much I want you, I cannot ask you to stay, nor can I ask you to take me away. I was Fae-touched once, and I shall treasure that always. But you are too good for a human. My selfishness and petty needs make me unfit."
"Sarah, what I said about you being human, I never meant -," he began.
She interrupted, placing her lips softly over his, murmuring against the puckered skin. "I know, love."
He drew back, studied her, unwilling to relent. He saw the truth of her words, but wished, upon his kingdom, that he did not.
"Will you promise me something, Sarah?"
"Anything," she breathed.
"Just fear me -,"
"Love me –,"
"For all time."
" – do as I say, and I will be your slave."
She laid her palm against his drawn and pale cheek, blistered from the heat and frozen from the wind. She kissed his dented forehead, his discolored eyelids, his bleeding lips. "You have been my slave for a decade, Jareth, as I have been a slave to my desire. Go in peace. I will never dream of you again, though I will wish to."
He nodded once, twice. She smiled through her blinding haze of sorrow, and slunk out of his embrace, closing her eyes as she descended upon the mattress, already feeling the coldness seep into her skin and the tears gushing into her skull, burning a path.
"Goodnight, my love," she mouthed. She knew he read it all too clearly.
He pressed a hand to her cheek, then departed. A soft breeze stirred as a melody hummed, and as she listened to it, she heard a voice upon the wind, as well as a light fluttering of wings.
"Remember, Sarah," he called.
Better my battered visageBruised but hot,
Than love dissolved in loss
Or left to rot.'