Structure of a Tragedy

PART I

When Aristotle wrote the Poetics
he detailed the formulaic structure of a tragedy
that dictated the rise and fall of action,
showed the arc of human suffering
like a cruel, twisted parabola
like the smile you gave me at sunset 

PART II

x
(x,y)
xy = 1            y = 1/x
lim [x->∞] 1/x = 0
x = 2, y = ½
x =3 , y = 1/3
x = 100, y = 1/100

PART III

Persephone ate the pomegranate seeds by choice, some think.
They forget that Hades kidnapped her, took her by force
She starved there in the land of the dead
the cold home to which she now always returns
Maybe that’s the definition of neurotic
or maybe she has no other option
for the gods said it must be so

PART IV

Exposition:
I met you when I was seventeen
while the leaves of summer were still green
our hands joined at first sight
then our bodies, later that night

PART V

Aphrodite arose out of the ocean
at birth, a fully formed woman
nobody saw that coming
nobody ever does

PART VI

Rising Action:
We only ever were together when we drank wine
when the world became blurry and we could cross the line
our nights bled over into days
and we’d put off parting ways 

PART VII

If I’d met you at fourteen we never would’ve spoken.
At twenty-one, we’d have broken
each other at a bar and gone home together.
If I’d met you at thirty you’d show me pictures of your daughters.
At forty-seven, you’d call me when
you needed a break from your wife.
If I’d met you at sixty-four we’d sit in an Italian café and talk for hours.
At eighty-nine we’d go to church
for the first and last time.
But we met at seventeen
we spoke, we broke
we missed the Piazza Della Signoria
by thousands of miles.

PART VIII

Climax:
xy = 1
y = 1/x
x = 1000, y = 1/1000
x = 10,000, y = 1/10,000
y = 0
x = ?
x =
x

PART IX
When Aristotle wrote the Poetics
he detailed the formulaic structure of tragedy
But he made that form for storylines
that begin and end
Our lives are not composed of One Main Event
they are not over, they are never resolved

PART X

Denoument:
Eros didn’t reveal himself to Psyche,
not even after their wedding night
She had to wander through the dark
lost and alone
as we all must
So remember:
at five o’clock in the morning
it still looks like midnight
even though the sun will soon rise