Wednesday, June 7, 2023

The Hound of Hades

You run across a public domain
Image of Heracles, lion-skinned,
On a hydria with Cerberus,

The last of Heracles’ twelve labors.
You recall another Cerberus
Of sentences—you don’t have a place

In the world. You are just a burden.
You’ve failed in some fundamental way.
Snakes sprout all over those sentences

Guarding the path to the underworld,
Guarding while actually channeling,
Guiding, driving you toward the pen.

It’s the fact of the first suggestion,
True, actually, for every life form,
That makes you afraid of the others,

Which may be hell, but are not in fact
True at all. No one’s just a burden.
And everyone shares a whole burden,

And as for failure, pffft, a social
Construction of the most human kind.
You fail or don’t fail as you decide,

As others decide, to imagine
And then to focus solely on that.
There is no failure, except to be

Immortal, which is why tales can fail,
But you can’t fail. Cerberus,
Tell your other heads some other lies.

This snake child's all about surviving.

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