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.

Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 27 Number 2, on page 30
Copyright © 2019 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com
newcriterion.com/issues/2008/10/landscape-with-colossal-kouros