Philoctetes at the Physio

By U. S. DHUGA 

 

No compunction, my physiotherapist

Exits, kale juice in hand, the Raw Chemist

 

With the swagger of a Neoptolemus

Who will lie to me, to you, to all of us

 

For the sake of winning what he mythifies

As our battle. I watch him pause, flex his thighs,

 

Draw a single, surreptitious Pall Mall

(Menthol-filtered) from his Nike carryall.

 

I tighten the brace back round my ankle

Wondering if and when we’re setting sail.

 

Today the greaved pain is barely bearable.

Not so my personnel.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

U. S. Dhuga’s new book is The Sight of a Goose Going Barefoot.

 

Julia PikePhiloctetes at the Physio

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Giant shadows of wind, the semis blow by, / bemoaning lost mileage; the drivers / on that mad combination of caffeine, adrenaline, / & speed. The skyline something crossed out— / not a bad word, necessarily, but a right phrase.

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RACHEL PASTAN
We are barreling north out of Salt Lake City, and David is talking about the clouds. “They don’t look like the clouds in the East,” he says. “They’re uniform, but fuzzy.” Out the window, the topaz sky shimmers over the mountains.

Herd of goats under a tree

Translation

DEMETRI RAFTOPOULOS
From Niko’s balcony, we see a legion of olive trees protecting the Kleftoyiannis mountain. Today they are calm. Like the sea in the distance, an ironed light blue bed sheet.