Bitter the Sun When It Is in Hades

by Jerry Ratch



Bitter the sun when it is in Hades

High fans meaning nothing keep the heat down

but the nitre keeps burning


So glows the gloss and high sheen on the skin

Foreheads exhibit thought

though the eyes are crossed


and at night, butterflies in Hades

When it's late they shine

so it's not great, but it's also not as bad


as they allege when they're trying

to frighten you into submission to the Almighty will

Why must they try so hard to frighten?


What are they afraid we might achieve

if we become more bold and brave

and act less like a slave?


In Limoges I bowed

with such forgotten politeness

a young salesman, enchanting, in the silk trade


but I remembered the sun also

when it was in Hades

which had forgotten to set, or to rise


Peace also dangled there by the neck

Such a pretty look on its face

beaten, dragged back by the hair to the underworld


knowing you are never alone in slavery

but belong with lovers of jade, mathematics, and novels

Some society left in them, maybe, but no olives