E cortesia fu lui esser villano
Not feathered as a bird’s wings are, bat-like
and leatherly, each fanned away the air,
so three unchanging winds moved out from him.
Cocytus being frozen hard by these.
Dante, Inferno, 34, v. 49-52
A storm from the centre of the earth
produced by Lucifer’s double wings
freezing the lake of Cocytus
where we lie shameless
of the daredevil flight,
impenitent of the icy winds we caused
that trample our garden blossoms,
kill puffins and lambs,
menace our weakened bones
forcing us into Regatta coats,
yearning for the turning of summer,
the earth a clattering of bones.
Our cheeks are an icy mask
waiting for the passer-by to lift the frozen tears
like frate Alberigo who asked Dante to free his pain.
But he didn’t.