The Drowsing God

“Sleeping Hermaphroditus” 2nd century CE, Louvre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the east, the divine union of opposites,
male and female, light and dark,
day and night,
has always been yin and yang,
curling into each other,
balanced in an eternal dance.

In the west, that forgotten union
was sometimes called Aphroditos,
lifting up her skirts, surprised to find
a rampant cock pointing up at her breasts
with impudent vigor;
scaring off evil spirits with her potent
apotropaic admixture of virility and fertility.

But here in this statue, Hermes and Aphrodite,
male and female, have become so sweetly
commingled, that one cannot be separated;
this figure doesn’t stand protectively awake;
the divine curls here, vulnerably asleep,
like yin-and yang, twisting
in an endless, sensuous series of curves,
she turns away from us;
already naked, she doesn’t need to raise her skirts,
yet he’s hidden in his repose,
his breasts just hinted at against her sheet,
strength in the planes of her abdomen and thighs,
luscious curve to his rounded backside,
and, revealed between her legs, a cock
far more awake than the rest of her,
though it, too, seems to drowse.

This is no warning to intruders,
positioned at the edge of property,
to warn that trespassers will be caught
by goatish Pan and fucked —
this is an invitation
to join with the divine,
to nestle in those arms,
and drowse in ecstasy
or drown in exaltation.

[Ekphrasis on Sleeping Hermaphroditus

[Deborah Davitt writes: My poetry has garnered me two Rhysling nominations, and has appeared in Star*Line, Dreams & Nightmares, Silver Blade, and multiple other venues; my short fiction has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show and Compelling Science Fiction, with novellas slated to appear in Altered Europa and The Fantasist in 2017. My Edda-Earth novels are available through Amazon/CreateSpace. For my full bibliography, please see www.edda-earth.com/bibliography].

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