Michael Berkowitz

Patroclus in Purgatory
This is Ancient PoetryIt’s supposed to repeat
— Rosanna Warren, “The Twelfth Day”

Achilles bends to kiss you but you
are already dead Achilles
has been dead

for three thousand years

and then you wake up
and you have two hands
and two ears

this is

Beethoven’s Third Symphony
playing on the turntable
and you are wearing a t-shirt
you do not think

is yoursEvery second
that has meant anything

in your life has been
in the armor of

someone else’s strength and

battle after battle

lost until
you could fight
as someone else until

you are unmasked
and that last morning

the spear through your spine

and you wake up
and you have two legs
you can stretch
to the foot of the bed but

you cannot remember

what is a turntablethis is
Ancient Poetry it’s supposed to

endThe voice
that wakes you

says I have to go to work and
Achilles bends to kiss you but you


mberkowitzMichael Berkowitz is a poet, web developer, and aspiring trapeze artist living in Somerville, Massachusetts. Some of his recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hermes Poetry Journal, Eunoia Review, Bird’s Thumb, and Tinderbox Poetry. He can be found at songsaboutsnow.com.