Achilles at Rest by Bryan Narendorf


Achilles sings The Seven
Wallbroken at Thebes

and a ditch’s mudslick
that’d need a god’s love
mortaring phrase into line
indifferent to everything
a farmer, his hired hands,
and a borrowed mule spend
salting the Greek hurt
with a strongwall song
to hold Hector off
longer than it took
but the hurt currenting his great
heart singing another’s
all season working to roll
into a hedgerow and forget.

while they sleep behind
wrist-thin pickets
to build. It’s a father song,
a failing song. He sings
song, himself unsung,
idle, as a tremendous stone

Bryan Narendorf lives in Philadelphia, PA. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Day One, Bird’s Thumb, and elsewhere.