To Alexikakos

I offered the verses below to Apollôn tonight while burning bay essential oil and a stick of frankincense. These verses are loosely based on what I remember from an unintentional contemplation of him as the God of healing and plague on Monday night at spin, when the first book of the Iliad was spinning in my head like a wheel and the workout endorphins carried me up.

you, O Far-Darter
each volley bending back your bow
breaking across the world
a sharp shower of heat
fever bright-blooming
the twist the dance
life interlocked
what have we given
sickness lighting up
as a meadow blooms in sequence
seeds left within it
finding their telos
vivid-bright red fragrant
fleeting as life leaving
fresh corpses in cities
you come stern silent
lifting up in the dance
a breathless harmony
father of the Erinyes
destroying from afar
high above the steep cliffs
protecting as you devour

be a balm for this sickness
you whose smoldering will
knows no completion
but that which is set down
ordained by the Fates
brought to justice
filtered through your truth
that brings poison and healing

who among us knows the cup
when we have forgotten ourselves
until we drink elixir down gasping
filled with curses or cures
what else but to adore you
to propitiate shaking
joining you in this dance
as if the world exists
bottomless and formless
each virus a compromise
pitting life against life
Trojan battlefield lost or won
your anti-light bright
swallowing all in radiance

still the music rings deep
still it shakes my soul
the golden thread unwinds

bring health at last
purified by the elements
justice watered like a seed
truth an antidote to all base things
in this dance as we touch
circling and encircled
these words a winding string
bay tender in the air
only for you to pluck them
and in resonance bring
harmony again life again


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