Dionysus and Apollo

by Thomas Zimmerman

King George Palace Hotel,
Athens

Apollo on the Delphi mountainside,
inhaling prayers, and Dionysus drunk
at Epidaurus, where the smallest chunk
of tragedy's so pure that kings have cried

at excess. I'm hung over, writing verse,
a hymn to clouds and sun that paint the sea.
(In truth, it’s just my journal: poetry
might thunder from it or, like smoke, disperse.)

It’s breakfast on the roof; the city roasts
like Nescafé; the Parthenon’s afloat
in haze. Last night, we drank those ouzo toasts

and then made love. Today, in hills remote,
we’ll visit Agamemnon's tomb, the ghosts
of orgy and restraint, the slain scapegoat.

 

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