Thursday, August 19, 2010

"On Awaiting the Death of a Friend"

the museum book

page 71

shows the right stone foot

of Apollo Alaios at Krimisa

just above the ankle

it stops

just a chunk a carved foot fragment

each noble toe so perfectly


toe-knuckles ripple the cuticles curve

so regular and fine

and at the foot’s flat level top

a square hole lacks its metal dowel

linking the lower leg of wood


good marble being scarce

in these parts of Magna Graecia

hence the need

to hew good wood instead

hew it into necks and legs and such

doweling them to the outer marble bits

these middle parts are long since gone

back to earth

a trope we know so well

the marble head yet fixes us

the sockets lacking ivory eyes

still shine sufficient Rilkean force

to bind our impatient gaze

just one moment maybe two

before we turn the page

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