Scena Nostra

in phalaecian hendecasyllable

at the bottom of hills our stage is set and
our feet stand without purpose while the olive
trees behind us (unruly) sway in summer
winds. the slab where our tunics rest is worn and
empty. nude is your body under silk—your
curves rest tucked under violet patterns swaying
on your breasts like the breezes blowing from the
seashore. circles surround us—they are made of
stones that the slaves of our fathers carved in the hillsides
so that men and the gods can see us play so
well and wantonly. clouds are curtains, falling
for us. masks that are painted sit to hide your
Carthaginian skin—the men would throw their
pomegranates and figs if darkened skin graced
Zeus’s stage. in the Grecian summer, maidens
come to play with their flowered crowns and dear flutes
for Athena. the chorus men shall sing their
inklings bearing their faceless masks across the
pits to petrify man with droning voices.
hide your curves, my unresting darling: gods do
not want women to take their stage; but play your
legends boldly with candid subtle acting—
lest Poseidon uncover doomèd sweetness
and sends Easternmost waves to thrash our stage. but
let us radically take control on stage while
our tongues lap the delightful words of poets
before men and the gods, before we go back
to lap tongues as professions bearing our love.

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