Iliad, 24.506

After Richmond Lattimore

Put your lips to the hands of the man
Who has killed your children. Kiss the man whose
House-tall spear-shaft searched out the known places
Where incision brings the fast flow of blood

And finds the vein, finds the nerve, tears the joint
In two and leaves the limb slung akimbo.
Put your face to the knees of the killer.
Take his hands in your hands, pull them

To your cheek, rub them to your cheek, kiss the
Fingers that killed those who would have loved you
In old age, and left you bitter lifetimes
Of mourning and a grief that will not cease.

Iʼm standing in the dust looking at you,
Not knowing whether to kneel, or lunge.