The priests of Lupericus sacrificed some goats
and a dog dripping so much blood
it was impossible to tell if the howling
had anything to do with severing the carotid artery
or something more archaic, the overwhelming
frenzy of want, those women
who ran round the nearest hill so they'd be ready
for the feast of sweaty flesh
some say was to honor yet another faceless
goddess watching the avian presence
of ravens mating in February. How beautifully
black to nest while women were whipped
until a man would draw their name
from the lovers lottery of St. Valentine's Day.
The Story of a Hero
Gilgamesh is a hero - more beautiful, more courageous, more terrifying than the rest of us.
A huluppa tree had been planted on the banks
of the Euphrates which is okay if you understand botany
and distant locations or can make sense of prehistoric culture,
those unique dress codes because Gilgamesh wore animal skins
which would have looked eccentric with the flesh
of the gods residing in his body. His face was like the face
of one long journey after another. It wasn't simple
like tripping or waiting for the next day where he could write
about his dreams even if they were unintelligible. Surely,
they had to mean something but all Gilgamesh would say
was we must treasure our dreams whatever the terror,
but he never mentioned what scared him or if he suffered
nightmares as a child or would wake in a clammy wet bed
which is understandable if his insides were full of gods lending
immortality's delusional wings otherwise his wife would never
have had to say I have to touch this man to wake him.
Alison Eastley's work has been published in Snow Monkey, The Adirondack Review, 42 Opus, Taint, Tryst, Pierian Springs and many other fine journals. She lives on a small island near and part of Australia with her husband, Steve, and her three offspring, Tom (legally an adult but otherwise remains as is), James, a wild party animal with a penchant for petty theft and Nick who is blessed with a quick retort and an angel's smile.