The old gods are dead
Zeus sits at the bar, he’ll buy a thousand and one drinks and the girls who he smiles at will raise their eyebrows and think of the pepper spray tucked into their sleeves.
Hera waits at home. She knows the numbers of all the girls and she has their facebooks open on the computer. Her hands hover over the keyboard., She wants to tell them that men will always lie. She wants to take her own advice. She never will.
Apollo and Artemis travel the world. They are chasing the sun. Chasing the moon. They will never catch up. Their hand are curled around each others hip bones. Never in public though. They look too similar for that now. Society has learned judgement and so they keep their caresses safe in the shadows.
Poseidon wanders the shore. He wears a plastic poncho and carries a bag of trash. His tears mix with the salt water. No one can tell the difference. A girl with hair that moves like serpents trails after him, retribution in her eyes.
Hades lies in bed, his wife curled around him. He smiles because people will always believe in death and finally, finally he has beaten his brothers at something.
Athena paces through college campuses, handing out pamphlets on architecture. She scoffs at professors who are simply going through the motions. She carries signs in her hands as she marches through the streets with the students, screaming about the newest problem. She laughs wild, these children, these fearless children are her people.
Hestia wants her family to come home. She waits in the doorway, arms outstretched and a smile like forgiveness waiting to embrace the siblings whom she knows will never return.
Demeter counts down the days until her daughter returns. She smiles when children cheer over the snow days she gives them. There was a time when she had a child like that.
Persephone kisses her husband and grins when people tremble. She is vengeful and wears flowers in her hair and she will make damn sure that the world will never forget her name.
Ares walks through the Middle East, picking his way around the ruins of an elementary school. He stopped understanding war a long time ago. This was not brave, this was not heroic. This was senseless.
Aphrodite narrows her eyes at boys in cars who yell obscene things. She’s long since stopped romanticizing love. She is gaunt and over worked but sometimes she sees a teenage girl handing her baby over to an older couple who had tried for years and she feels young again. Sometimes, she sees Ares from across the room as soldiers embrace their loved ones and they smile at each other.
Hephaestus limps through his shop, his hands are worn down, his back is still twisted but people don’t seem to notice anymore. He makes their furniture, their toys and trinkets and they thank him, they pay him.
Hermes runs through the streets of New York, Tokyo, London. He is young in this time, young and beautiful and slipping between business men, his hands finding their way into their pockets. He never stops laughing.
Dionysus mixes Zeus his drinks. He watches his family grin and cry and get sick in the back room of the bar. He holds back their hair and hands them another drink before they even ask. He’s been here a long time. He’s seen them drunk more often then he’s seen them sober. He is watching them flicker out and fade.
The gods are dying. The gods are dead. The gods are us.