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"A nymph, blue in the face, lay by the pond.

Eyes as white as the see through slip she donned.

Creamy curls flattened against sunken cheeks.

Stiffness in her limbs, brittle bones so weak,

They crunched as I propped her up.

Her entire body reduced to a pulp,

Then I lay her backdown, gently so.

Her ribs,unmoving, bare in the frigid blow.

Thighs that lacked warmth, left breast beating at nought.

An expression so alluring; yet devoid of thought.

I am a psychopomp, with fingernails bitten to nubs.

A cigarette smoked until the filter, only then stubbed.

My work is not free; she lacked the silver to pay.

However, she had yet to enter the full throes of decay.

Thus, as the sun lowered and a chill set in -

Twice - I brought her to heaven."


The poem tells a tale of a psychopomp, a guide to the afterlife who requires payment for such a job. The Greeks would put a single silver coin on the eye or in the tongue of the deceased to ensure a safe travel to the afterlife.

The psychopomp first describes a body he’s come across as it is. When the psychopomp attempts to move the nymph, he does so roughly, leading to her bones breaking. When he sets the nymph backdown, her dress rides up to reveal her ribs. After, the psychopomp describes her in a more carnal manner.

The psychopomp then unveils his nature; he dislikes wastage. This trait of his is what leads to the nymph being sent to the afterlife by him, despite her being unable to pay with silver coins.

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