Dante 7

by Gary Percesepe

We stopped to ask directions but there were none. The air was thick with souls which could not stop. Among them: a child, a Laotian, and a mortgage analyst, a Norwegian far from home. The child had lost its diaper. He was carried by the Laotian, a mute. For bread we had ashes, for drink these useless tears. 


The Norwegian told me of a rooster, when he'd been dead a long time. In Norway, he said, they use roosters to locate dead bodies. They put the rooster on board a boat and row slowly across the fjord. When the rooster crows, they stop and dredge for the dead. We continued walking