Reginald Shepherd


Scraps of an Achilles


He is a summer revolutionary, turning
with the solar year:

having passed out of his mother’s
marine safekeeping,
he does the work of wind:

a verbal scar on the strand
ten minutes of martial music

Call him the waxing season, saltwater
at high tide answers the moon,
challenging all satellite


It is right that Achilles should be beautiful
and fatal: his glory walks hand in hand with death
past ruined statues of his boyish virtue:

his box of broken boys bled dry,
his skin unmarred by history
or the weather called remorse

Caught by the shadow of his heel
whose half-god flesh couldn’t be caught,
he remains a hero of the sun

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review