The Oracle said you’re the wisest,

yet you knew nothing,

 

you’re only a gadfly stinging the dumb ox,

the same

that led you into the dreamery of the hemlock.

 

There, already somnolent,

from the first and last berth,

you called Crito and reminded him

of a debt

“We owe a cock to Asclepius. Pay it and do not neglect it!”

 

It was paid

and the fowl must have been served with chili

because the good God of the snake

spelt a cure that still heats.

 

The vessel pursues, away from the inflammation.

People ask why.

 

There’s blood in every revelation.

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