The Goddess Died At Herculaneum

Poem By John Sarvay

Your face splits with torment like Janus
and creates a mood evocative
of some concoction of grape and spent ember,
a taste encased with what was immediate:
a simple cry, or
the shape of weathered stone on your cheek.

A shadow crosses your brow at this pulse
of passing remembrance.

Perhaps you remain
captivated by the fading fire,
or the stories of the stars.
Surripita es a deis —

You have been kidnapped by the Gods.

Something sweeps through you:
the ache of your clenched jaw,
the slow throb of fading tannins. An echo.

Dawn does nothing to suppress what lingers,
yet just before at the crumbled temple
the sun rose to you
strewn naked on worn marble.
Despite the firmament
constructed by your memories,
this wasn't the first time you cried.

Comments about The Goddess Died At Herculaneum

Love your imaginative language here, John! Nicely done.

3,8 out of 5
2 total ratings

Other poems of SARVAY

Techniques Of The Observer

At the dawn of enlightened idleness, men built
the camera obscura: boxes of glass and wood
that caught ethereal motion and recreated the world
in miniature, casting it to see.

To Katie

You were in another room with me
Many times – and years ago, it seems.
Terror ran through our encounters like rain,
Clouds preceding each interaction, like:

This Is Not A Country Song

As we drive this narrow rough of muted dirt, I might
admit – this one time – that you somehow drew me back.

Eyes half-closed, the door swung open

The Birth Of Loss

The silence came mostly between the tides –
in the deep tranquil moments
of gently lapping water
and occasional leaping perch;


This must be how the runner felt:
If I can just hold it together,
tomorrow I’ll be in Thebes.