For Iris

For Iris
Eve Morton

I can only imagine
being messenger to the gods:
letters filled with
love declarations in archaic Greek
letters twisted like arms and legs
then broken into poems, Sappho’s lost shards
of her nearly perfect work stapled next to
tax forms and ambrosia along
the envelope’s flaps, as if kissing a god
could happen in the simple act
of a slip of the tongue
across a letter head.

Surely, in the non-mortal mail
Strapped to Iris’s back there are also
fish heads and curses
stamps that bite back
the bitter ruminations
of Hera, over and over again,
sent to Zeus and then sent back, unread.
Dear John Letters
with extravagant names
and much higher stakes.
A goat sacrifice, still alive
smelling and riddled with
ticks. Then, of course,
the dead carcass
the blood enchanted
elixirs that still
smell funny and that still
have ticks, somehow.

It is no wonder
Iris is draped in
colour better than
Joseph’s dream coat;
she is the rainbow
which is to say, she is
the light
struck under pressure;
a neon orbit
of good and bad news,
deflected in glitter
& iridised under the sun
and starlight, a glow in the dark heart
spinning through the night
until she is black inside,
all the colours at once
with white on her tongue and teeth
signalling, collecting, and deep down, loving
everyone and everything.

Eve Morton is a writer living in Ontario, Canada. She teaches university and college classes on media studies, academic writing, and genre literature, among other topics. Her collection of poetry called Karma Machine will be released in late 2020. Find more info on