Lethe by Kaylena Robin Steiner
Instead of being dipped
into the River Lethe
I am dunked
I wander the world a ghost.
My memories remain intact,
yet the place where my presence
would occupy space in others’ minds
My absence screams at me.
Bludgeons my heart
until its hues
are solely shades of blue.
How have I angered the gods.
What foul actions
have I unwittingly undertaken,
what lines crossed,
to be cursed thusly?
Every drop I touch or drink
becomes a subsidiary of Lethe.
Those who meet me in the day,
have forgotten me by evening.
A perpetual cycle of watching how I am forgotten.
My entrance to Asphodel is barred.
The Fields of Punishment do not call me.
No list deeming worthiness of Elysium holds my name.
I’m left to roam the mortal world,
Begging the gods for a reason.
Can they not hear me?
Have not only the mortals,
but the gods, too, forgotten me?
Is my entrance to Hades blocked
by a perceived non-existence?
A terrible question swirls in the back of my mind:
Am I some figment, some product of a dream?
Born a ghost with no life to judge
in order to grant entrance to Hades?
Did I never exist at all?