Monday, January 01, 2018


"Drachm of Ephesos with bee, struck under Prytanis,"
387–301 BCE, Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Even Charon needs a place to rest, in the stygian
twilight—a place to put his feet up, close his eyes
for a moment as he waits for the next passengers
to appear. A houseboat made of reeds, a gift from
Ningal—no, we’d never see it, even if we knew it
was there. Sitting low in the water, blackened with
tar, sagging from the weight of a thousand million
coins given to pay for passage—prow and stern like
horns, like the edges of the thinnest crescent of a
waxing moon made of obsidian. Floating shelter for
the ferryman’s break. When the wind catches a cut
edge, the scow moans like a blues harp, the same
tuneless tune Charon hums under his breath once
back at work, loading. While he misses his moment
of leisure, he’ll gladly palm the light off our coins.

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