Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The salty Peloponnese flood
Of minerals and Trojan blood
Is in this oily, briny fruit,
Savored by Milton to salute
The poets of antiquity.
It is the flavor of the sea
And ink squirtings of cephalopods;
Mortality plucked from a god’s
Martini at the end of time,
When guilt squares up with every crime,
And joy has run its fi-nal course,
And nothing but divine remorse
Attends the last aperitif:
It is the very taste of grief.