Ode to Paniskos


“Πάνισκος κεχρη”
-P.Lond. III 658

What we share when
the nights grow cold
is the thrill of life’s noble
luster. Perhaps you too,
like me, will remember
the fiery sight of water
running west at night
like power untouched
even by the gods. They
come to you, caked
in sand and suffering,
wishing to immortalize
their mail. When the letters
arrive, finally, they are
filled with memories of
blood. Through the Nile’s
luminescence you make
out faintly their last
unsettling lines: Persians,
or Greeks, possibly,
bent and misused by
captivity, have arrived,
finally, demanding all
we owe. Help us, if you can.

Travis Wright

Travis Wright's poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Quarterly, Dappled Things, Ekstasis, and Anthropocene, among others, and have been recently anthologized by Little Gidding Press. He lives in Cambridge (UK) with his wife and children, where he is finishing a PhD.

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