Hermaphroditis

wiping sleepy tears from my eyes
the sense of loss still on my tongue
a deep dark yearning
making me look over my shoulder
to search for mr right, not mr right now
for the one who
thanks to the gods
I lost before time began
the yin to my yang
the one that makes
once upon a time and
happy ever after
the truth and nothing but the truth
instead of a lie invented by the media
to sell more of this or that
or just to make us wonder
if what we have is what we need
or if who we are is quite enough
this terrible ache
where my heart is meant to be
that incessant desire
for someone who is
like me but not me
just enough
to get me
all of me
not just the pretty bits
but the wrinkles and the darkness
and the baggage, too
someone
made for me
lost so long ago
that now all it seems to be
is but a hollow dream
and I’ve been waiting
for all this time
through this life
and the next
in vain
with nothing
but a black hole
where my heart used to be.


© Sybille Sterk
Do not copy or publish this poem in any way, shape or form without my written permission.

Hermaphroditis

Sybille Sterk

Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Artist
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Artist's Description

Inspired by Aristophanes’ story about the hermaphrodites. Excerpt from here

Aristophanes gives the background of why people are attracted to one another. […]  At the creation of humanity there were 3 types of people–males, females and hermaphrodites. These beings made the gods angry so Zeus decided to split them in half, with the belly button being where the extra skin was sown together. […] As such they longed to be joined together again. […] Those who form life-long partnerships are those that have found their other half, and they desire nothing but to become again and remain one flesh in this life and in the next. 

Artwork Comments

  • Belinda Leopold
  • Sybille Sterk
  • Ushna Sardar
  • Ushna Sardar
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