Wesley’s Inferno: Canto 5

Canto 5




Catullus put the vehicle in gear

backing up out of our space.

“We’re getting on out of here,


going to another place,”

to witness gluttony and avarice,”

similar sins that we can easily trace


“back to bad-old-fashioned self-centeredness,

the mother lode of all evil.” The whirr

on the screen of the soulless rutting couples’ nakedness


receded in the rearview mirror

as we drove down hell’s rutted road,

the end of my journey seeming no nearer


than it had centuries ago.

We crossed a wooden bridge

beneath which glowed


a cloud of phosphorescent midges

biting and stinging a mass of obesity,

pulsing like amoebae in garbage.


“Here’s where the greedy spend eternity —

Trimalchio, Thackery, Ponzi, Imelda Marcos —

no longer possessing individuality,


“now nothing but an indistinguishable bolus

of inextinguishable desire,

a very different type of lust,


burning toxic like a dumpster fire.”

How much longer, I wondered,

would I be turning, turning in this narrowing gyre?

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