Pariah! They say
with open eyes but shut mouths
I can hear the gnawing between my bones
it rests like poison honey on their tongues
like a promise, the vanishing point of a dark road
anathema laid upon my brow while I was sleeping
in this waking dream
I see myself all sandy olive brown
A smudge in gold dust, damp but for dark leaves
Like feath’ry mother arms. I am restless,
A young Soul scraping bare
For love and comfort as children’s hands in
Honey jars. I crawl, dusty kneed and
Heavy-headed t’wards the Gods.
I stumble and fall
no arms to catch me in this concrete jungle
no high priestess in the high-rise penthouse
to cup my chin at this silicone confessional
The ground does wake,
Ears like white billowed sails — and hear they do,
A pearl voice soothes my blotchéd cheek. Good
Smoke, light and fresh as fruit fills this sunken soul.
Atë — Atë! Fair fallen goddess girl,
With sour brow and feet like deer. Curse her
Jet stone heart with tools of fear!
But, how could the voice of a goddess speak through me?
how much longer should this exile be?
If I lay prostrate on this linoleum floor
what sacrifice can I offer, which a broken heart can afford?
Curse you, with your opal eyes —
My black grief ne’er shall be your wretched prize.
[Be sure to check out more of Eric’s work at My Sword and Shield. It was a pleasure to write this Grecian-inspired collaboration with him.]