by George Kalogeris
However heavy their winter overcoats
And muddy their clodhopper shoes, not even Hermes
Can pass between worlds as swiftly as they can, and do —
When I recall their halting, broken speech.
They tell me about Poseidon, how wild he was
On their transatlantic crossings. Although their knowledge
Of the Inferno doesn’t extend to the deepest
Rings of the Twentieth Century, what they saw
Is dark enough for their cigarettes to glow
Like the fireflies in Dante. My guides. They come
Whenever they’re summoned, but our conversations
Always end at the same impasse: they ask
Me why I never married, and don’t have children.
They fear my DNA to wander, in exile.
They tell me I wasn’t made to weave my own shroud.
My old school uncles scrutinize me like tailors
Threading the eye of a needle — and then they’re gone,
Swifter than Hermes with his magic wand.
Copyright © 2019 by George Kalogeris.