"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 back, 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