"And then the wily Odysseus. . . ."

The authorities
agree:  Achilles
in his shift, his charred
curls whorling into
a bun against his
neck, could not keep his
hands from the sword, but
leaned into the blade
and breathed a halo
upon it, fading
from the center first,
till the slenderest
ring was left, foreskin
peeling eagerly
           blooded spear-point
making its way through
one side of the foot
or the other, arch
or ankle or heel,
stitchery, man to
woman, weapon to
wound, all of it spun
like a ship on God's
white sea, an armed man
taking the blow from

behind, tunic split-
ting over his chest,
his mother's last charm
flying up on its
thong, then jerking back
to lie in its own
bruise and the silt-gray
hair on his sternum.     

The East Village Poetry Web
Cooper Esteban