Orpheus in Autumn

What is there to offer for her breath and blood?
What can his hands hold that won’t crumble
or rot in the land of the dead? He pours a large
measure of rich red wine on the sorrowing earth,
watches it blacken a widening circle as it drains
away to a vanishing stain. He spills the black
cock’s blood, whispers the name of the woman
whose eyes have turned to glass, whose fingers
sit rigid in the burial mound, whose tongue
has burned in the pyre among sparks and stars.
This time music isn’t enough, even as it evokes
autumn wind, and oak leaves swirling in little
cyclones as the river churns. Now he must make
clouds speak, the black stream rise its serpent head,
ancient rocks tumble and cascade until his body feels
the cracks appear, his eyes perceive the long way down.

[Continue to Eurydice Waiting.]

[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.]

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