The exploration of womanhood,
viewed by a child, who had failed to birth an heir
and was auctioned amidst a war,
to lay beside the man who Lyrnessus heard before it saw,
and felt, before they felt nothing at all.
Plucked from childhood to motherhood,
failed motherhood, into obedience and slavery,
despised by her husband’s mother for the absence of life she yearned to grow.
Then veiled in a soft pearlescent,
that blurred, but did not hide, the reason she survived,
and her brothers and husband did not.
Her barren belly proved a blessing when the girls in tents sprouted kleos from their swollen stomachs,
to carry the son of foreigners, bloodthirsty for their native home.
These girls, they are just girls, brainwashed by glory and trauma,
carry children that will slaughter their brothers of blood,
in the name of a woman seen only as a measurement of egotistic revenge.
And what of Briseis?
Aristos Achaion, they cried.
To them, he will always be: the best of the Greeks,
even after Apollo favours the hand of Paris and forges fate to impale the accidental hamartia.
What is her legacy?
Aristos Achaion, they cry.
As the boy who carries his blood rises from the fire and carries forward after his father’s body hit the ground.