by Angel Uriel Perales
Here they come again, the bristled hyenas,
skulking, yipping around the standing ankles,
laughing, in their manner, to the toppling
of yet another impotent god.
The homoioi eat their rations under the shadow
of their hoplons propped up by their spears.
Some lean against the warming brass of the arms
and wish for rain, wish for the churning of the tides,
wish for buttermilk, and better dipping wine.
A helot pushed me down into the ground
yesterday and pointed lance to throat.
Be glad I am not seventeen, slave,”
he said, “be glad you have no gold.”
Don’t bother clothing yourself, batman.
You contribute nothing to humanity
and will die a poor timid soul
who knows neither victory nor defeat.
No statues will be built to remember
you or your kind. No homage ever made,
just you and your vestiges in hell.”
Look at them flinging lees at one another
from the kylixes scattered all around
an oversized pillowed thumb,
a makeshift reclining eating couch,
hosting three. Three of them strike
pompous poses emulating the dead warriors
found at the bottom of the red terracotta.
Naked I climb the head and nestle in silent
and comfortable into the crook of the left ear.
I break my fast with dry fried tangenite
and gaze into the horizontal spelt.
I think I see the ships carrying the end,
transporting Nebuchadnezzar’s 900 camels
all the way over from Edessa or maybe
I’m thinking of Homs, previously Emesa.