Five Rivers

by Aaron Blair

I wanted to die,
but there were five rivers to cross,
and when I sank below the surface of the Lethe,
I opened my mouth to drink in the sweet waters of oblivion.
The spaces inside me were filled with nothing,
and I forgot what I was running from.
The blue pills took me to the cave of Hypnos,
but his whispers were not chemical enough to keep me there.
I woke upon the banks of the Acheron,
a crimson slash carved into the rock of the underworld,
an echo of the flesh on my own wrists,
the wounds that betrayed me by knowing how to heal.
The Phlegethon had lit a fire in me,
the spark of a soul that wants to breathe,
to fan the flames of determination.
I gathered all the tears that Cocytus would allow me,
but still I couldn't put that fire out.
The coins on my tongue weighed nothing,
when I emerged, defeated, on the wrong side of the Styx.
I spat them out and buried them in the mud.
I had not wanted enough.


Posted on 10/28/2013
Copyright © 2023 Aaron Blair

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ann Krischus on 10/28/13 at 12:46 PM

Its good to be back reading such great work like this!

Posted by Linda Fuller on 10/29/13 at 10:02 PM

You can extend a metaphor like nobody's business.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 10/30/13 at 04:28 PM

Excellent work...powerful message. Love the imagery and tone throughout and ending. You know the old saying, if at first you don't succeed...but I kid you. Well done.

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