Tartarus

Tree Riesener

not elysium not for you
not asphodel not for you
  you’re hardcore
slammed into a truckload lost souls all
on that brightly lit bumper-to-bumper off-the-map road
headed to the hell within hell
you heard the man in red tell
not mormon hell catholic hell protestant hell
not even dante hell
US Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility hell
tartarus
under the oceans black roots reaching down into darkness
waiting for you
demons elementary school bullies fraternity rapists
graduates of abu ghraib
souls too evil for purgatory
as each transport arrives
the rocky labyrinth grows longer and wider
twisting over the rocky ground
a gordian knot too hard for any sword
triple walls topped with fire wire
surrounded by roaring a flaming river
fed by the tributaries
sorrow lamentation oblivion hate
fifty gaping black jaws
strip you of belongings clothes and flesh
shredded along with flesh sleep and guilty joys
what is left
grief anxiety disease fear hunger death agony
presiding over all in your nightmares in your dreams
tisiphone in her blood-wet dress
sleepless at the top of the iron turret
waiting snapping her whistling lead-tipped whip