You who enter here

All night long, all day, the doors of Hades stand open.
But to retrace the path, to come up to the sweet air of heaven,
That is labour indeed.

Virgil, Aeneid

So you finally made it
through the winter’s allegro non molto.

Now, lying on the shore of the Channel
like a great-eyed bireme that you sailed,
which looks as alien to them as the letters you used
to write your name on the unfamiliar sands,
you dream of holding your beloved Creusa.

Only, she lies among the ruins of Troy.

Instead, the Sibyl in navy blue,
surgical gloves, and a face mask,
with a firm gesture, guides you
through the gate of abandoned hope
to the detention estate.

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