Maria Antonia's Breath

Under the hard, dusty lamplight
corporate pragmatism drones in front of me now.
I soften the heavy blows with purple lids.
My journeys so moist, distant in those eyes,
eyes of antiquity and yellowed marble tombs.
Roundmoon-lightspill once occupied my blue limbs
In that ancient land of Aphrodite and her baths
After all the goddess shares her secrets with those
who venture into silver waters at dawn,
and the foamy warmth becomes yet another womb
from which a daughter, a lover is born.
At the edge, I elevate my head to see the singers
melancholy dance on the black sand
those rugged men who dream of ships they dance for her:
The goddess of the land; not to please her
but for her sake, ancient and frail as she is
crumbling like the rotted stones of Pericles in that city.
Yet, withstanding the wind from the north,
The goddess whispers through the trees, "I Live--- I Live"..
Her salty breath salty and warm, fingers my eyes and fills them Now.

by George Guerin

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