Sandro Boticelli, c1485
Awake now. Remember our love
in the shade of a wild myrtle forest.
Your red, silk pallium softens our bed
of bracken and leaf. The air is cool here,
broken by swallow song and the hum
of wasps that swarm and crown
your abundant hair. I study your ecstatic
slumber-a sole crease of brow, an easy
parting of lips, your brave span of chest.
I want the burn of your eyes, the brine
of your skin. Far from bloodshed
and the din of battle, you abandon it all:
your lance, cuirass and beloved blue helmet.
Naked and fearless you surrender to me.
A little death that strands you oblivious
to lewd taunts of drunken satyrs. Fat bellied
with goat leg and horn they thieve, thrust
and sound a conch but still you do not stir.
This is no time for sleep. Gather your strength.
For I am your bright star and when you wake
I will ruin you again.
Venus and Mars
1 May 2017