Aphrodite’s child

at the tender age of ten
come the attentions of the men
merry monkeys who endeavoured to appear innocent
as they praised her parents for producing
“such a beautiful child!”
& her parents – wishing not to appear too proud
responded with “she pretty, but she wild!”

bony bare-legged black boys
made her gifts of their most-prized toys
& watery-eyed white boys wistfully wished
for a way to get her alone
(they wanted no witnesses when they asked to walk her home)
moody & mesmerizing
teasing & tantalizing
fully aware that she’s everybody’s baby
neither affirmative nor negative, always a murmured “maybe”

the boy next door is on the precipice of manhood
know-it-all 19 to her tentative 13
& goddess status is no guarantee
against infallibility
fooled by flowers & flattery she falls from the pedestal
eager to believe this is love
(unable to perceive it’s merely lust)
too soon she is forlorn & forgotten
her “love” reduced to ashes & dust

the powerful patriarch plays with thoughts of slaughter
of the upstart who dared to seduce his daughter
quietly the queen mother dissuades him
using her womanly wiles to persuade him
to hunt for an Hephaestus for their errant Aphrodite:
“lest this attention make her vainglorious,
before she develops appetites notorious!
already she’s caroused in the conjugal bed –
to save her face (& ours) she must be wed!”

the peeved papa searches for a suitor well-bred & well-read,
one who’ll welcome such a treasure to his lonely bachelor’s bed
still grieving, before she can find her voice
the goddess is girded to a man not of her choice
a slovenly adoring ass, incapable of original thought
like Judas, her father sold –
like a slave, she is bought

despite her outrage at her father’s wrong
her sense of filial duty remains strong
she decides to make a go of this life
& at first she is a wonderful wife
she cooks/she cleans/she hides her gloom
a lady in company, a whore in their bedroom
of course he’s happy with his lot
but she’s not – she needs another
& so determines to take a lover

in a greasy garage with oil on the floor
she stumbles on the key to desire’s door
fully equipped with all the arrogance of youth
he’s self-important & uncouth
yet free from all taint of sin, & – blessed bonus! –
a veritable virgin
her stars are lucky (or the gods are kind)
so without examining sub or conscious mind
eyes shining, lips swollen & wet,
she decisively draws him into her net

& he is willing, & he adores her
in abject abasement he grovels before her
in his eyes a kind of madness burns
but before she knows it, the tables have turned
now she’s hypnotized/mesmerized
a body enslaved & paralyzed
a heart beating hard with love & trust
a woman laid low on the alter of lust

her adoration makes her crazy
the constant worship makes him lazy
but he’s there:
to her & for her,
a ballsy sibyl that can do no wrong
seducing her & swamping her
with love’s sensual song

she is swept away from her stupid spouse
from father & family &
the hated husband’s house
o infidel! o infamy!
poisoned by passion & pride
convinced of invincibility
as long as he’s at her side
the world is theirs, for so she arranges
then Chance erupts, & everything changes

into their interlude falls cold white snow
& he dances with a demon
in a place she dare not go
he dances while she dreams & schemes
of a way to win him back,
but the demon brings a Darkness
that forebodes a future black

thunder & lightning, all that is frightening
is passed through the end of a phone
snow surrounds, then topples
Eros from his throne
the sea rages & swells
the sacred shell doth shatter
Death rescinds love
now her life does not matter

lamenting & lost
in a tempest she is tossed
& she drinks as she cries
she screams/she shrieks/she sighs
in vain she tries to understand
why the gods have withdrawn their hands
the Muses warn she must repent
before the Parent Gods relent

doomed by love
damned by her loss
she flees Olympus
the last line is crossed
so she wanders with whispering voices in her head
capering cacophonous demi-gods
on her journey to the Dead

bleeding/bruised/broken
she wanders without will
seeking potions sweet & noxious
to render heart & body still
a tightly entwined rope
around her slender saddened neck
surely somewhere, something or someone
can put this grief in check

in her woe she is wanton
open to forces beyond her ken
so she roams, restless & reckless
lying with many men
some are nice (& some are not)
most are total shits
something better soon must beckon
so one day she simply quits

she runs/she hides
she makes a brand new home
& her eyes reveal acceptance
of a life that’s lived alone
she buries herself with Art & books
her new life is quiet & pure
to strangers passing on the street
she appears serene & sure
& other lonely souls believe she’s found a magic cure

eyes downcast or hidden
she lives this way for many years
a helpful & happy exterior
swimming in solitary tears
& she dare not admit (especially to herself)
that life & love are passing
while she dwells on this dusty shelf
then one day the gods relent at last
& send her one who obliterates the past

on a hot & hazy morning
sun shining in her eyes
the Divinity appears behind her
transported from the skies
he smiles at her, & she is bewitched
he speaks & she listens, totally transfixed
his demeanor is somehow both gentle & grand
awed & acquiescent, she allows him to claim her hand

he guides her to the garden she’d created for herself
& there he does things to her
that divests the dust from the shelf
her body is a blank book that he writes in
her mind is a fountain that he delights in
then he tells her that he loves her
his voice confident & strong
the words deliver her from the darkness
that has hidden her heart for so long

the chains have been cut
the past has been banished
the monsters of memory that hounded her have vanished
all that once hurt her he has abolished
the demons that dogged her he destroyed & demolished
the goddess has been restored
no longer afraid or alone
in the heart of the Divinity
Aphrodite’s child has found a home

copyright © 1994 -2014 KPM

Lust

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