W R I T T E N · W OR K



by Robert Ranieri, 2005



She stands serene amidst the aging temple stone,
dressed within a sheath of such precise fluting,
knowing men will kneel before her altar.

Columns follow her refinement, a formal dance peripheral.
This sculptor knows her shape so well, to carve a fine facsimile.

How elegant these veins along her hands, evident too
as blue within the rounded marble breast, then to course
as surely through his life, so close to her his ardent breath.

His eye had once too often traced the laced bodice rim,
to follow where her garment veils the shaded heraldry
of proud bosom, and is gathered to cascade
between swift thighs, to conceal her loins from flame,
surely his own immolation.

But now a sacred grove grows here
where once the temple stood.
Amidst the little plants beneath the foot, a marble fragment found,
bears engraved a word or two, once so ardently expressed,
so solemn, his vow in adoration lost.

These words in fragment disarray, he, too shy to recover one
last breath, taken, to say one last fair well.




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