Issue 5 – Otten


Charlotte F. Otten

Greek Encounter in the Microfilm Room

“Homer and Socrates are dead,”
the attendant whispered to me,
as though she had just read
their obits
on microfilm in Styx.

She was staring at my cross,
the one with purple stones,
incised with the impelling figure
of the 3rd century Greek healer
Panteleimon.

Mortality and immortality
floated in the archival room,
grad students and researchers unaware
that Socrates was dying
at the next screened window,

Homer still alive in
Mideast wars,
and Panteleimon on my chest
still pumping beats
into arhythmic hearts.