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Outis Odysseus

He has been gone // a lifetime.

In the interval, another olive tree
from a dropped pit. The prime of a fleet hound
who knew all day each minute’s different scent.
Ask Argos: is the world Odysseus
or not-Odysseus?

He’d tell you rabbit-spoor, goatshit, the bread
flat-broiled in a pan and how he stole it,
which section of the low back wall is warm
with sun before mid-morning. Gloaming scent
of sand-lilies, which comes with punishment
for bread-thieves pelted howling to the shore
then left to sleep in salted, bristling dunes.

Gullshit. Fish, seawrack and endless air:
loose feathers on the sudden-bloodied rock. A storm
arriving. Time to something, make amends,
soften appearances with your good eyes
like bronze under deep water.

He’d tell you, hunt. He’d tell you, Eumaeus
for years and years. Pigshit, piglets, the sows
to be steered clear of widely. He’d say, running:
uphill, uproof, and coursing the wall-tops
as often as a cunning hound-dog can
to look at what’s approaching, what evades.

Is the world Odysseus // or not-Odysseus?

The hound sits, folds his tail around his haunches.
His eyes are filmed like bronze under the sea.

Catherine Rockwood is a former academic and martial artist; a current literary magpie and walker in the woods. Her poetry chapbook, Endeavors to Obtain Perpetual Motion, is forthcoming from the Ethel Zine Press in 2022.