Aphelion Issue 265, Volume 25
September 2021
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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A Walk With Dante

by Jean Jones

I feel you are like Virgil
walking my soul
through my hell
pointing out the different levels
I have fallen into-

You show me the sign-
"Abandon hope,
all ye who enter here-"

You show me where I currently
live- In the second circle,
with Paolo and Francesca
blown back and forth
by the winds of passion-

I scream to you to
"Help me!"
You respond-
"You placed yourself there-
You can get yourself out-"

So I force myself down
from the winds,
with K, S, and D,
circling around

and I find myself
following you
as you take me to
the Ninth Circle-

where great Lucifer's
frozen wings and tears
freeze this ninth level of Hell-

You point to the place
where if I go
past Lucifer

I follow this comedy
to Heaven
where my wife
waits, if I wish to meet her

and when I ask
what happens if I don't
climb up, past frozen Lucifer?

You show me another place-
a place with Second Century furniture
"If you go there, you cannot come out,"
You warn,

That is the place of "No Exit,"
there you make your bed with
S, K , and D
and there, your hell
will be "other people,"

"Good luck with that."

2020 Jean Jones

Jean Jones teaches English as a Second Language Basic Skills for Cape Fear Community College. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and has a book of poems available on Amazon.com entitled Beyond Good and Evil. He has had poems published in Aphelion as well as Horror Zine online.

Find more by Jean Jones in the Author Index.

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