The Kindly Ones* from Issue 52
Streaming from Erebus through a crack in the pavement
they crowd the door to the abortion clinic.
Older than Zeus, in Ilium every beggar had one
to keep him honest, bat wings, leathery shanks,
thorny scourges in their turquoise purses
to chasen the prodigals sidling to slaughter.
Among us as ever they chide the infanticides
past the threshold of shadows brandishing
blissful conviction and raspberry smiles, counseling
chasity, poverty, a term of virtuous labor,
then age on age of sackcloth and vain remorse.
*For compulsive readers of footnotes, the Greek for “the kindly ones” is “the Eumenides,” more commonly known as the Furies, who came from Erebus, the darkness of the underworld.ㅡEditor’s note
Now from Issue 54
On the table the same old sugar bowl
dreams, vague yet immanent.
The same cold slice of moon
hangs in the window,
the same sandwich
of memory and portent
waits on its plate
but, from time to time,
the fridge kicks on of itself,
confounding the demons of decay,
and the pilot light goes right on
winking under its iron lid.