Content Warning: death, dark themes
Kit Ingram – The Dark One of Strophades
‘…no crueller plague, ever rose from
the waters of Styx, at the gods’ anger.’
—Virgil, The Aeneid, Book III: 215-216
Follow the stones of a
tumbledown wall to where
they crumble into a question.
Dusk or another disaster beats fire at
the silhouettes of the far tombs.
What do you suppose these
dark piles are, all glint and menace?
We stitch between answers.
A shriek on the wind!
We’re getting deeper into a
state we can’t easily return from.
You hum a lullaby
while I stumble over lines
from an epic poem.
The ancients wrote of
a bird that sizzles into ash and
rises anew. You scoop a handful of
feathers, lustred as onyx.
Raven? Crow? One escapes and
whisks onto the head of a shadow.
It turns to speak in a gale of whispers,
cracking its wings on the air.
Do you know what I am?
Come closer! And I see a monster
gentled by a human face.
The last of the harpies,
a lonely storm.