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Having Already Invented the Greeks

Nothing much left to talk about
beyond the iron law the hero butchered
on the battlefield pierced through the tendons
ankle to heel no different now

       an outcrop of cloud a sense of place
       of carnage descending in parabolic loops
       the war horse drags the hero round

Are we any the wiser are we so inclined
at this late hour to drop a jot of ichor
on the memory stone and twilit leave
the hero in the dirt have done with it

       and what would we be if we did
       (these are the questions we ask ourselves)
       less lyrical surely vast tracts of time ahead
       nothing to say about taking ourselves so seriously
       washed in the blood of this not that

In the meanwhile something within foresees
not even the end will end with us
the taking place won't end in time
the pages turning eternity on its round
stage turning forever only one day more

      if only in seeming so
       surely it ought to bring us closer
       call at least our feelings back
       the original of us telling it over
       the story we hurry to begin again
       to explain ourselves as best we can.

Sherod Santos

The Yale Review

April 2014

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