Samos lay me down to sleep,
thirty brown-stained fish in a yawning cove.
Weary of waves, urchins and cigarette butts,
the abandoned lighthouse couldn’t care less
if we stay or go. Sirocco settles the matter
for a ferry caught in horseshoe harbor.
Hailstones pummel Hera’s temple;
wind plays shepherd huts like dropped stone flutes.
Stranded, I’m not sure whether to curse
or thank the Furies—punishers of perjurers—
for another night in the arms of a man
who cannot love me.
Sculptors of colossal kouroi inscribed
not only a name in the statue’s thigh,
but for whom he was made. Vainly, I scan
my lover’s body for a monogram.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 27 Number 2, on page 30
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