The descent to Avernus is easy

The descent to Avernus is easy


He walked from carriage to carriage,

the old man with faded eyes, and

shouted something about eternal darkness.

‘Oh, woe to you, damned race!’, he yelled,

‘Forget the sky, for you have met me!’

His hands did not give him rest,

strong, in hard calluses, they

grabbed handrails, passengers, and seats.


A fool, he fell for the speed

of waterless underground roads

one and a half centuries ago, so now

he spends accrued obolos on a commute,

gets to the last station,

pushes passengers out of habit,

and walks back,

screaming at monsters rattling their wheels.


He doesn’t know that Persephone’s groves are no longer there,

but stumps are grown on each window sill,

and he is no longer needed; that

Demeter’s cry above is not so different

from her silence; that underworld’s dome

will never be suffused with Orpheus’s song,

and Eurydice’s voiceless steps will never touch the stairs.


They have escalators there now, group excursions,

and even the Styx…


who needs this damn Styx, where even fish cannot be found.

What are you looking for?