Agape (Book 23, Patroclus’ Song)

Jo Clark


We are boys again,

wild as the crocus

that will carry us away

like Zeus once did.


Our skin

soft as the petals,

limbs jagged as

cliff rose—


elbows pushing down

the earth so we may

see each other.

No thought of flowers


we’ll turn into

when the gods

bottle our blood

on the battlefields.


Surely Hyacinthus

is not the only one.

Our hands clutch



uncalloused, yet bearing

death along the lines.

If I could run my index

just across your palm


I would feel the day

your breath stopped.

If I could kiss this

hollow of your throat


I might still taste

the arrow. Look

at us here. Imagine

we would one day


hold spears so sharp

I can still feel the point

piercing my belly.

Oh lover, most beloved,


and best of all Greeks,

did you know through

every layer of Trojan

stone, this one of ours


is still warm?

Jo Clark is a student, poet, and journalist born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is currently pursuing a double major in poetry composition and Medieval and Renaissance literature at the University of Virginia. She is the poetry curator for V-Magazine at UVA and a senior writer for The Cavalier Daily. She has been published in The Stardust Review and Prospectus: A Literary Offering. She has work forthcoming in Q* Anthology. She hopes to one day release a full-length collection of poetry.