The Pelion
by Steven Joyce

The nine days of argument,
12 river-Trojans bound by the thinnest leather
each month’s misery doomed
more suffered than Deukalion or Peires or Are´tho÷s
this inhuman fire raging
no longer a matter of honor
Cicadas late in summer
heated to noise like Tunisian women warbling
marriage encomiums or funeral dirges

Every old symmetry
of color, flower, fish and tree
of bird, water, fence and bee
In place and holding
No amount of global tilt or revolve
Can keep the nervous gravity from clutching

the Pelion by the hand
the divine proportion of his rage several centimeters off . . .

Two urns on his doorstep evil and more evil
The flight of an errant arrow whistling its cowardly tune
Hades like some killer whale filtering the oceans of man
for the crustaceans and plankton
that drift and slip in lived memory
Those we love and know small
Ghosts begging to mingle bones in the great wash.

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