The descent to Avernus is easy
He walked from carriage to carriage,
the old man with faded eyes, and
shouted something about eternal darkness.
‘Oh, woe to you, damned race!’, he yelled,
‘Forget the sky, for you have met me!’
His hands did not give him rest,
strong, in hard calluses, they
grabbed handrails, passengers, and seats.
A fool, he fell for the speed
of waterless underground roads
one and a half centuries ago, so now
he spends accrued obolos on a commute,
gets to the last station,
pushes passengers out of habit,
and walks back,
screaming at monsters rattling their wheels.
He doesn’t know that Persephone’s groves are no longer there,
but stumps are grown on each window sill,
and he is no longer needed; that
Demeter’s cry above is not so different
from her silence; that underworld’s dome
will never be suffused with Orpheus’s song,
and Eurydice’s voiceless steps will never touch the stairs.
They have escalators there now, group excursions,
and even the Styx…
who needs this damn Styx, where even fish cannot be found.