Flowers rot in my hands, on the banks of Charon.
My melody of asp bite is the strangest marriage bed.
A hiss, a cadence, of bones dancing to Stygian flow.
But I feel at home here, amongst asphodel and shades.
True, Orpheus played the lyre like the world would never
fade away, but nothing escapes death, not brides, not bones.
Even, after millennia, bones can burn. To struggle against
the Maenads when frenzied vice grips the Earth’s harrows?
Nothing changes. All changes. Rot is just another breath of life.
I say rivers only run downhill.
I say fungus blossoms in dregs of wine.
And when Orpheus looked back to see my blue flesh, to kiss
my lips of maggots, I trembled like a cedar in autumn wind.
Stand strong, I urged myself, but dust calls to dust, and I
slipped like golden mud through his arms, putrefaction and
the worms will have their way, and Muses always prefer
a dead girl.
©2019 Allister Nelson
Allister Nelson is a published poet, academic and author that loves fierce women, bold myths, and smashing glass ceilings.