In The Iliad, Athena, Hope of Soldiers, lifts
the mist from Diomedes’ eyes so he can see
gods as they roam the battlefield.
Son of a greater father, he rises from ranks
to bloody fame. If only we could see the gods.
What prayers would escape with every
breath, what libations we would spill before
our lips reached cup’s edge. How smoke
of sacrifice would rise. Imagine a dryad by every
tree, the Father’s voice in every shower of rain.
When earth shook, we would see the god’s
blue hair. How well we would understand envy,
lust and pride. Every hour of our lives sacred,
every act of washing dedicated to a power
pressed up against our delicately balanced fates.
Even death would be figured behind his dark
gate, his beautiful bride young and grim.
Each day we would dress and eat as holy acts,
deliberate and calm, and even our mourning
would be staged, whatever the sting of private grief.
[Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published two chapbooks: My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word and My Father had Another Eye.]