Samuel John Hazo


Poseidon and Others

His spear is somewhere sunk
 in the Aegean.
 in the Aegean. The upraised hand
 grips nothing.
 grips nothing. His body’s primed
 for hurling—Olympian legs
 astride, both shoulders squared,
 the bearded face straightforward,
 and the eyes aiming.
 and the eyes aiming. Why quibble
 if antiquities are flawed—a nose
 chipped, a penis broken
 at its base, a finger gone,
 the arms of Aphrodite amputated
 just beneath the shoulders?
 just beneath the shoulders? Flawless,
 they would show us totally
 what David offers us in Florence
 to a fault.
 to a fault. Even when complete
 the statues of the Greeks revealed
 the breasts of all the Caryatids
 unnippled and the eyes opaque.
The wearing down of centuries
 would do the rest.
 would do the rest. Whipping
 without his whip in hand,
 the charioteer of Delphi rides
 the wind.
 the wind. The missing horse,
 the whip, the chariot itself
 have long since gone to ruin,
 but the race that’s never won
 or lost has always just begun.

4 June 2021