Offstage, if it ends at all. No broken hydrants,no tongue-kissing in the streets. It’s not often
I think fuck the classics but what passes for mercyis Achilles finally offering up a tortured corpse.
All day the sky’s sitting its own shiva, grainygroveling in place of cloud & everyone
I never knew is coming home. Last nightHektor’s draggled body was the deer caught
& sideswiped on the coast road, mange tinseled,only electric misfirings to keep the creature upright
though it tried to sit. Zip-tied prisoners do that.We are so much smaller rage doesn’t end us
so much as make the suffering messier & moreeasy to abide. But Homer doesn’t bother
with the lesser graces, the prayer of lineamentor Priam’s fingers gone catfish on the body of his son.
Stand at the roadside long enough you becomea dirge, a woman with a washcloth in her hand. [End Page 9]
Elyse Fenton is the author of the poetry collection Clamor. She lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon.