Aphrodite came out of the sea,
Wearing jeans, a shell necklace,
A bunch of bangles at her wrist,
And nothing else.
I was there, on the beach,
In the first gray of morning,
A little ashy bonfire of a girl--
I was writing poems,
Which I considered, by turns,
To be well worth fucking me for,
To be the stupidest,
Most scorn-worthy scraps of weasel crap
Ever to insult an innocent blank page.
All these things depend upon
How recently you have stretched out on top of me,
Or how fresh your indifference,
Thorned into my borrowed shell.
"Aph," I said,
How is it that the waves always come this way,
Wearing stones down to sand,
I remain as dry as driftwood,
Smooth and silly and flat on my back,
Waiting to be carved?"
Aphrodite complained that she had lost a bangle in the surf;
I have seen many women's backs,
But hers, when she turned,
Was so beautiful, it reminded me of yours.
I know she didn't hear me, or care,
But still I asked,
"Why am I always the sunset, well-remembered, Aph?
And why never
The longed-for shore?"
for Mary's Mixed Bag at Real Toads.