The Grief of Achilles
by Dan Vera
When Achilles awoke to discover
what had transpired
he was tested and failed
and fell inside his grief,
Outraged the Gods into fury
by the levels of his vengeance.
What is missing from the story
is the source of his rage,
The grief that metastasizes into darkness.
So the poets now can write of him as
going overboard for his drinking buddy,
Compare him to a racist dragging his victim
over the streets of the pestilent city,
Can make Hector the innocent and Achilles
a monster who has no reason for going insane.
But the lilac eye reads the story
and sees the mad grief of a lover
who made promises
who lived with the express understanding
that in the afterlife they two would
drink from the golden chalice together.
Patroklos, the form of his life,
put on Achilles' golden armor
the skin of his protection
and fought in his name,
Was pierced and killed in his name.
Consider the depths of his loss.
Not to excuse the madness
but to understand what drove him over
That line that exists for all of us
when what we most adore is taken.