Landscape at Ruined Delphi
by Katherine Pyne-Jaeger
When there are hands where
no hands should be it is like this:
the bruises on an oracle’s chin.
Faith, a small nervous motion
of the throat: gone. The mouth slack,
hung with laurel. Being compelled to see
is a grueling history, a red sway-backed
procession of days through the desert.
But necessary. Most things are, even if
they take convincing. The Acropolis was
a monument to ego, a temple of the men
who said: there is someone to blame
for the universe closing in on us. A claimant
of the future. Its builder said: necessary
or I will be executed at sundown. Perspective,
you understand. The shame is inside you too,
small hurricanes moving in your back muscles.
The hand gestures to the sky: a question surfacing.
The body sits on the naked steps and drinks
from a kylix. Like wilted flowers bruises
make stains in the water.