They were too wrapped in their own expertise,
the old gods, in their plans for Tantalus,
crisping the apple, scenting the dribbled fig,
making the pomegranate luminous,
lending a gentle and consistent music
to the inconstancy of the glancing water —
for after all the eye and the ear will learn
indifference to what the hand can’t gather.
Hunger and thirst are fruits too and will wither.
If they had meant business, they’d have settled on
love as his appetite and set him free
to gather in the desert of the town the fruit of the
and when the fruit was bitter in his mouth
given to his misery the mask of anger,
making a snapping turtle of his heart
so no-one dared to feed it. Thirst and hunger
that feed upon the living heart live longer.
© Amy Witting