The other kids would make fun of my wings,
they laughed at the way they shudder
when they get wet and the way
they drop feathers when I run.
They’d point at me and scream,
Why don’t you fly little birdy?
Why don’t you fly?
Mother always told me I was her little angel,
Geryon, my miracle baby from the sky.
She would tell me my father was some good-for-nothing god
who bailed to chase the first nymph that
paid attention to him.
Now that I’m grown I keep my wings tucked
under my tattered jacket.
I stay with the other gods and demigods in town
on the street, begging for tributes to keep us alive
in tents clustered around barrels of fire kept aflame by Hestia.
The musical gods have long lost their flutes and lyres.
They play scuffed and chipping guitars missing strings
and drum on upturned buckets with pvc piping.
My friend Herakles is losing his mind.
Geryon, Geryon, my boy, did I ever tell you
about the time I stole your sheep?
That wasn’t me, Herakles, I wasn’t born yet.
And yes, you’ve told me about a thousand times.
I’m thinking of changing my name
because of how many times you’ve fucking told me.
Don’t do that, Herakles replied.
I used to know a guy with your name.
You should’ve seen his fuckin’ face.
Stole all of his sheep and shot him
right between the eyes.
Herakles laughed. His large frame heaving up and down
reminded me of my smallness.
I wonder where we demigods go when we die.
Since the underworld closed down
most of us hope for some sort of Heaven.
Herakles likes to tell me to look for it.
Geryon, Geryon, why don’t you fly?
See what you can see up there huh, boy?
Why don’t you fly?
A man and woman walk past us and look at
the cardboard sign I’m holding.
Friend has dementia nobody will hire me
Need money for food.
They glance at me sympathetically and hand me
a five dollar bill.
I say God bless you as if I know what that means
and they hurry away.