To begin again, the deepest palace must explode
unnoticed. A slow release
will always leave the one who authored you afraid.
That was legion talking from my head,
the beast. I would burn
the pages, all evidence my sentence stayed
to cheat my way inside a shadow of the rock.


Unobvious site of anchorage, as Erebus was
an isthmus zoned only for sacrifice.
I envy Odysseus
that inundated shelf he slaughtered
the lambs on, if nothing else a place
to have knelt down, awaiting the shadow
instructors, an apparition anywhere
the ritual touched, their footprints
brimming with blood.

But the flensing is never finished
when the offering outlives its mystery
recipient. Tiresias starves, doubly
damned, whispering


Steven Toussaint, an American poet, is studying for his MPhil in theology at the University of Cambridge. His first collection, The Bellfounder, was published in 2015, and his work has appeared in the Denver Quarterly, Omniverse, LVNG, and other publications. Previously he was a Grimshaw Sargeson Fellow in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Published in the January 26, 2018 issue: View Contents
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