Jan 17

Briseis prepares the body

I lit the incense and moved it in circles counter-clockwise around him
The arm that held it aloft went numb
I floated his body onto the sandbar and used handfuls of his finest silks to rub the wounds clean
They watched me so I couldn't push his head under, but I didn't stop dirty droplets from spraying into his mouth
Later that night I dressed him in orange and in violet, insisting those robes were his favourite
Though I had taken them off a lowly messenger
As the women and I keened, we tasted our tears and they were not of men's sweat or our sadness or the sea, but honey
And we screamed even louder and grabbed each others faces under the guise of misery and kissed each others cheeks
For they tasted of honey
Later that night I sewed his wounds shut with a dull needle and embroidery floss from a horse's mane
We gathered flowers of yellow and pink, birdsfoot and aconite that spelled out revenge
We gathered the wood for his pyre on the beach, hair unbound, cheeks pink to the sun
Taking branches too green to burn quickly, leaves too wet to burn hot
And when we prayed it was not in anger but gratitude
And when we poured out our wine it was not to him, but to Paris 
We used the good wine for that