Oracle of the Damned

by Deborah Svatos


I am the oracle of the damned,

resplendent in post-traumatic purple velvet,

tattoos embedded in violet ink across my wrists,

musing to you that your fate is to lose once again,

feeling your anguish,

hearing your cries,

offering you my jaded advice

in the hopes that you’ll fight against what ails you.


It’s the life of the lonely,

my days of speaking to the lost souls

who wake in this Tartarus disguised as Earth,

but someone has to break the news

even if it shatters the calm.

Someone has to give fair warning

if the gods seek to withhold

and rally the wronged

against the multitude of injustices.


I spend my days in the company of ghosts,

their forms tangible as smoke,

breathing in the bitter haze

fueling their resentment,

strengthening my own.

When the world spins a hair too quickly

on its frantic carousel of

thrill seekers and wayward wanderers,

I’m there in the wings to gather

those who have been displaced

and we form our own army against the gods.

Pen at the ready, I am their scribe,

my chronicle the story of all the wrong

ever to be wrought upon the damned.

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