Olbian Iatros

His face is pale, like fish belly
and bone, and the moon reflected in a well,
like mushrooms that grow in a ring.
His hair falls in yellow braids,
run through with black feathers and bird bones
tiny, white and sharp bones.
His eyes are ice, and something colder still
– he has been among the long-lived ones,
the people beyond the North Wind.
He is lean as a winter wolf,
spare and knife-sharp.
His movement is controlled,
methodical yet with grace,
like a snake about to strike,
a dancer poised, a prophet sinking into a trance.
He watches, unblinking, can see beneath the skin,
knows all your fears and pains,
and how to draw the poison out of you.
It’s going to hurt. This healer god is not gentle.
Pain is a reminder that you yet live,
a searing blade that cuts through dream and delusion.
And his speech is just as cutting.
“False son of lovely Tyro and windy Kretheus,
doom limps toward you with one sandle,
like a worthy bull rising from the white-capped river;
the abandoned shall abandon and it will destroy him.
Through your line an ancient grief will be worked out.
All this is the Will of Zeus, who designed it.”