Dante's Inferno

“As they tore others apart, so are they torn” (Dante Cantos XXVIII.36)

I stumbled through pieces of body, halves clinging to each other like lovers and too much wine at dinner.

Two almost pairs of parted lips repeating to oblivion: “I am whole. I am whole. I am whole.”

I thought of Romance, thought this torment must be the vast loss of it and what must have been her.

And I to it: “why does your heart remain torn?”

And it to me: “Man was made perfect dirt of Eden in callouses of common Creator.

Remember me, I am Aristophanes who sang man into deformed halflings waiting to be reborn.”

I longed to weep. And my Guide then: “Shed no tears for this soul

who named God inadequate, named Love mortal scurryings,

not Divine but under carnal control.

Under false prophecy they turned not to God but to each other,

seeking salvation in flesh stained grey with Eve’s sin, no repentance in their original ecstasy. ”

So I turned again to him who placed sinners into the godless grasp of one another:

two-by-two he dragged himself back to the Pit, a man alone

trying to save himself from the Flood- tears refusing to hold onto anything but anger.

He does not stand divided for he took God’s creation and stole half its bones.

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