Dante, Inferno Canto 25 (3rd part)

Parasitic bloodsucking leech ringworm, flowing
So tight upon as did that fearsome beast
Entwine itself around the other’s limbs,
Until it was more lizard, the shape shifter,
Just like the green lizard of Earth, beneath the scorching lash
Of dog-day heat, between one hedge and the next,
Seems lightning as it streaks across the road,

Already the two heads had been united,
Four separate limbs combined to form two arms.
The thighs and calves, the stomach and the chest
Turned into members never seen before.

All trace of the first aspects was erased,
And the unnatural figure seemed at the same both two and none,
Off it went, at its slow pace.

There’s more. Just as the chimaera was departing,
Appeared – darting towards the other two – a little fiery reptile,
Black and shiny as a peppercorn.
Bit into the navel

The navel, Omphalos, that part where first we are nourished
Of one of them and then the fell prone before him.

The one transfixed just stared, said nothing.
Indeed, he yawned, as if it was nothing that had just happened,
As if he fancied a sleep,

But I noticed then, his face and that of the reptile
They were locked into a stone stare,

But an ectoplasm, two, began to flow,
From the human’s navel,
From the reptile’s mouth….

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