Styx

As the willow casket floats across the river
Styx
and disaffected kings sip perfume from a
golden goblet,
let me relax you as you drift upon the stars
away from horned beasts which breathe fire
at a cursing snake with a hooded head
and an ancient anchor, forever buried in your
even heart
accompanied by the bluebirds who flock
beside your throat.
The Japanese warlord arcs his angry katana
mercilessly biting hard against the guiltless
frozen bamboo bridges
whilst the peasants and the herons watch and
wallow in the paddies.
The Celts have traced their patterns thickly
around your muscles
and throng up and down to fight your mother
and the pierced shield which bears Denise’s
name
until the day you die.
These are razor cut. These are pierced with
painful inking.
These are needle-sprung rivers bled out to the
buzzing sound of an electric torture.
These are squeezed into your surfaces and
made to last
until the day you die, maybe more.

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