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Image by Olga Thelavart

We Were Once Gods

By Sara Reeves

The Death of Patroclus  ∙ Maiden  ∙  Ache of the Fire Bringer  ∙  Named Samael  ∙  she waits

The Death of Patroclus


The hark of a lyre, heed my son Achilles on fire.

Golden breaths and sweet tears dripping,

the prickled hum of a harp’s string snapping.


His armour aches at a lover’s bed now empty

but he murmurs the song against his harp

with raw hands having helped the wrong man.


He’s begging for the blue birds to sing along

but it is only the crow’s warble that braces

my Achilles through the dying light.


One last crack of fire, my son puts down the lyre.

Sent to war; his heart and voice steady cracking.

He awaits the morning air to assist his arrival.


Achilles bleeds by a boorish battle,

and for the first time his lips tilt in a smile.

Golden gates to his grave let him lay with his lover.




Even as you were stolen

          you were relieved

          that your mother could no longer hold you

and suffocate your power.


From your lips slips a touch of gold,

     sweet red nectar rolling down your neck.

     Through the lush valley of your breasts,

     down to your toes.

Every step you mark now pomegranate.


Perhaps it was the lush river waters

     running through your fingertips

     that stole his attention.

     He saw you bathing by the sun and knew

you were more than your mother.


Ignore your fear of him, Kore.

          Goddess of the underground,

          seethe your mother’s frail warning.

Be greater than she said you would be.



Ache of the Fire Bringer


Fire Bringer, liver fails to respite.

How is it you do not hold to the fear?

Invading your skin through day and through night,

you’re daydreaming about the mortal veer.


You are far more than your treacherous theft –

a man who cares for the tired living.

Pale storms whip upon the strength that is left,

fire causes no pain, no misgiving.


The weight of your eternal punishment –

such a subtle gleam within your left eye.

You can never weep; you know what that meant.

But the eagle, my love, is not an ally.


Fire bringer on the rock torn apart,

pray that the pain will no longer restart.


Named Samael


A tale made of marigold and whiskey.

A delicate dance of a moral vow broken.

The Fallen Angel rests in sin

outlined by his golden siblings –

his hands are clasped together,

but this Fallen Angel refused to pray.


Built by God, nourished by a moral failure,

Lucifer bites his cheeks to stop his cry.


Beg mercy on the time,

lain by his brothers with a broken hull.


Sun burning April skin – 

sky an ache of blue on white.

Dark brows furrowed; pressed.

Silver tears fall from an iced stare.

The Fallen Angel remains in canvas

what he once was in Heaven.



Sara Reeves is an undergraduate student studying a Bachelor of Arts in Creative and Professional Writing at QUT. 

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