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Dionysian Summer

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Early in the morning, every bird in the land began to chirp.
They chirped, squawked, screeched, and screamed.
Even on the first day that summer, the birds knew.
The knew, they knew, they knew what was in store.
Their squabbles told of great love and brutal war,
but no one listened to the second part. Great war and brutal love,
brutal war, great love.
That summer was fueled by passion, and with passion came all things.
The olive trees fell to the ground, so laden were their branches.
Grape vines hanging off the parapets of sea castles loosed their fruits, which waves delivered to us tasting of salt.

Beneath those pleasant shores lay something that was just stirring after centuries.
It yawned and stretched, we felt everything as the earth shook. It was hungry.
Our tears became saturated with the ocean’s salt and the rest went to our hearts. That summer made everyone a sailor.

From the mountains at the edge of the land came a steady shrieking.
Not even the village witches could remember anything like it.
He was the oldest and the first to go.
We lost so many to an airborne disease, that summer.
It desecrated our ranks like a foreign invasion.
Soldiers’ tears ran gold and left behind hardened rivulets on their cheeks that glistened in the burning sunlight.
A light mist constantly hovered above the seaglass soaked beach.

The ground shook so much we could bear it no longer,
livestock ran wild and geese escaped their cages.
The marketplace was crushed under an avalanche of toppling, tumbling fruits. People soaked themselves in red wine and lost their minds in prayer.
The birds knew and they turned the sky dark in exodus,
Casting a shadow over the land.

The ocean of our technicolor seaside was barraged by strange flashes,
some so harsh they killed the fish.
Our dinner was delivered to our doorsteps, rotten and aghast.
Strange bloodshot eyes would appear in the sky, and watch us, never blinking.
In the heavy air we toiled. Constant thunderstorms.
That something below the sea rose up and destroyed our temple
and our oil lamps spilled all over the floor.
The stores of coins broke open and made everyone rich.
The monster sucked the meaning from our petty mortal fights.
Shards of stone struck a ram in the heart and it died on the old marble steps.
All at once, everything was blooming and our lungs filled with sirens' songs.

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