from (C)OVID'S METAMORPHOSIS, Book the Fourth

The Story of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus

Nursed as I was on simple formulas, 
I took my moistness to be the norm.  I enthused
over bosoms without knowing 

which myths were meant to prevent 
the torment of loins too lonely
to be leafed by figs. 

After all, the salamander has many lives,
crank calling the Eagle Scouts 
who tortured him by appropriating 

his culture & tying him to 
a soapbox racer with exotic
& impossible knots.

For I have seen plenty of Cinemax,
but I never foresaw Emanuelle in Quarantine,
seductively reorganizing records & reading

the comments.

Alcithoe and Her Sisters Transform’d to Bats

Purple words, purple orchids.  If I were a dandy,
my apartments would be redolent with the scent
of myrrh.  I would walk softly in satin slippers,
take my leisure with murmuring peacocks 
& pollinators.  I’d hang out under the bridge 
with 9,000 of my friends doing abstract dances
in the sky for river insects.  At the turn of the century
I could turn into a sexy vampire, 
but everything's just zombies & nazis now & 
the tender spring shoots are the real fascists
as is the rain & the air thrumming in the machines 
that sustain the Antichrist in the bunker below
the Chuck E. Cheese.

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from (C)OVID'S METAMORPHOSIS, Book the Fifth

Calliope sings: Persephone's fate It's too late to question the logic of curses, to second guess why some birds deserve h...