Kronos Devours Kronos

Saturn Devouring His Son
by Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1636)

THE FOLLOWING IS THE EPIGRAPH TO AN UPCOMING MYTH REIMAGINED. IT IS A DYSTOPIAN REIMAGINING OF THE KRONOS MYTH THAT IS SET TO RELEASE THIS YEAR.

 Bloodstained lips. 
 Bloodstained hands. 
 Mouth full of vengeance 
 For a deed yet planned. 
 The Great Titan sits, 
 Patient as an hour hand.
  
 The Mother swaddles her babe 
 With tight precision, 
 Covering her last foul deed,
 One not of dereliction.
 A pretense thought to be
                Flesh of her flesh, 
                Bone of her bone,
                Blood of her blood
 Given of free-will, her own, 
 Sacrificed to this heathen—
 A trick for lips enthroned.
  
 Kronos stretches his serpent jaw 
 Wide, ready to consume 
 The constrained captive, all,
 Unaware of the ruse:
                To suck its virgin flesh; 
                To crush its malleable bone; 
                To gulp its warm red draught
 Dry, with orgasmic moans,
 Till silence shakes the heavens,
 Till his power is left, alone.
  
 In what should be the safest place,
 Many delivered up
 To the lust of an awful face
 And insatiable tongue.
                In Mother’s arms, pretense plays.
                Rhea cradles to her breast, close,
                The tightly wrapped faux-babe.
                No tear or smile as her boast.
  
 Stretching forth the bundled lie,
 Kronos is convinced
 This, the child prophesied,
 His last rivaling wretch: 
                The one to usurp his icy throne;
                To melt the cold wintery sins
                Of his progressive, wrathful woe;
                To bring his reign to an end.
             
 The one to take his place, 
 Repaying patricide.
 The one whom he should dearly love,
 Will come to pierce his side
                With poison in his leaden cup,
                The payment of his pride, 
                His heir’s pestilent favor.
 Now, his arrogant chest hollow,
 Not a single morsel savored, 
 The old, cold fool swallows.
  
 Staff groped, clutched,
 With his envious grip. 
 Back curved, hunched, 
 With inglorious triumph. 
 He rises from his throne. 
 Bitter are his flesh, blood, and bone.
  
 Even he, from his staggering heights, 
 Cannot see; pride impedes his sight.
 What waits for him cannot be fled: 
                What should be his servant, 
                The sharpness of his scythe, 
                Looms over his head.
 The should-be harbinger of melancholy tides, 
 The should-be doom on his enemies’ minds, 
 Escapes his foresight—
                Time. 
  
                In time, 
 He will reap what he has sown. 
 From the highest heavens, dethroned. 
                In time, 
 His own son will cast him down.
 To the deepest pits, thrown.
  
 The Mother turns and 
 Flees to her hidden babe,
 Hidden far away, in 
 A damp Cretan cave.
 Crying for Mother’s breasts 
 That will return soon,
 The secret bundle’s lips 
 Pucker, as he lies unconsumed.

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