Dante Inferno 9 (1st part)

The Furies and Medusa. The Angel. The Sixth Circle: Heresiarchs.

The help hasn’t arrived yet. And words to loosen a piton,
Most accidents happen on the descent,

The dawdling help of God, an uncertain, occasional vision, reliability low,
My face scrubbed chalk cowardly white, when
I noticed my guide turning back, and I’m sure fear whitened him also,
Though he dissembled into,

—We were supposed to win. Or yet betray’l,
The help was promised, but it takes its time.

I thought I heard him substitute his words, trying not to show his fear,
Betray’l, was it?
I’m sure he’d thought better and substituted…
With two roped together, they shan’t reach the bottom simultaneously?
But perhaps my Fear had catastrophised the whole thing.
Does one have enough strength for two?
Or are both always brought down?

He stood alert, straining to hear – his eyes could not slice the murk.
Bent broken people, good-for-nothing,
Words hanging, precarious out near the precipice.

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