“Merlin’s Folly” by Jen Pezzo

Only he would recognize her
in her many guises,
by the scent of her body-
the electricity of her aura.
Only he could pique
her curiosity,
challenge her knowledge,
arouse her dark envy.
The temptation to seduce
not only his body, but his mind;
pulled at her will,
teased her sensibilities,
made her reckless and wanton.

Passion existed between them
as more than an emotion!
It was an outside force,
an omnipotent being that spun
the illusion of self control;
that each believed they alone
possessed with help from
their secret language of
incantations guiding legions
of spirits and mystical powers.

So Merlin built her an invisible
house in Avalon and there
they lived for ages, indulging
in the pleasures of love
until adventure called him away.
Those duties were more
than a woman could handle
and though Nimueh consumed his
thoughts and played his body
like a musical instrument – she was
nothing more than a distraction.

This misconception was the first
of many and the beginning
of his folly. The future often spoke
to him; this time it sent warning.
But he was too blinded to take heed.
He attributed Nimueh's attempts
to dissuade him from his "purpose"
as trickeries, quaint ignorance
and jealousy. So when Camelot did
crumble around him she lured him
with the promise of comfort for a
broken heart, then entombed
him for eternity with his prophecies
and longing before becoming
herself again; the mist on the lake.