He sleeps like any firefighter
or ex-serviceman, using sex as his
opiate to quench PTSD. Yes, he’ll
be floored for hours, oblivious to
all but his own amorphous dreams
from Lethe. After his fill of pleasure,
he can fall into oblivion like any
pre-adolescent. A god of iron reduced
to a flaccid sack of organs, almost
naked & caught in the light-trap of my
female gaze zoned in on him. He who
was mandated a license to kill, now
dead to the elements, his fervid
senses deregulated, & all but
demobilised by our act of coitus.
And me: Queen of Love who transcends
amorous dalliance. She who sublimates
erotica each time, who apotheosizes
beyond these bed-posts of myrtle
into a garden-paradise of her own
sensibility. She who is sensitized
to a higher love, who levitates
her paramours, gifts them pleasure
beyond their respective orgasms.
Do not de-mystify my illuminatio coitu.
Reduce not my rite to mere biology.
Abandon yourself with a sensitive body &
mind. Be attentive, even as you succumb.
Not many have seen Armageddon,
not many have lived through the
infernal freeze-frames: the fire,
blood & anguish of my wars.
To be the last warrior standing
because snipers have picked off
all the members of your platoon
one by piteous one, is to be worthy
of some kind of remuneration.
Troy was my training-ground,
body-strewn Thermopylae my
place of higher learning. Have
since done my work in Palestine
& the fields of Kosovo. At Shiloh,
Agincourt & Passchendaele, I dug
in my oiled jackboot & issued
forth my bellowing commands.
Have earned my erotic goddess, & this
prolonged stupor beneath the myrtle
boughs. Too hot for Vulcan to handle,
for only a soldier can truly satisfy Venus.
And so she availed her well-endowed
body to me &, of course, I complied.
Discipline in the wars permits me
a certain license during peacetime.
Wake me up in time for the next war.
Otherwise, satiated, let me snore.
Impish, crammed full of chutzpah, so
we gatecrash the post-coital scene.
Grab his lance, helmet, breastplate
& sword for our gamesmanship &
innuendo, eternally arsing around.
We fart our raspberries through a conch
one of us uncovered in a frolic on
the beach, but sluggish, arrogant Mars
is dead to our irreverence. He’s
shagged out & deserving only
of a demobilization warrant.
Venus, meanwhile, looks detached
& indifferent. Later we’ll fantasize
the contours of her breasts & thighs,
doodle pornographic graffito. Get high.
In the vested name
of the Vespucci family,
we make our appearance
haloing the god of war.
For Sandro’s painting
invokes his patrons &
Simonetta far more
than Ovid or Homer.
La vespa’s more than
an heraldic motif
or vintage scooter
buzzing around Florence.
Without our golden
chevrons, the paint
Sandro uses would run
dry. Venus’ aurora
would vanish for good,
the god of war exhaust
into pusillanimity. Art’s
indebted to patronage.
We have our strong hive,
this city-state to build.
Sandro paints Simonetta
& we’re all enriched,
ennobled as citizenry.
We will awake Mars
when it’s time for war.
Otherwise, let’s relax
in this earthly paradise
Sandro’s Venus provides.
Love supplants the sword,
the State lifts up the individual.
We vibrate, loudly converse
close to his ear-canal, but
there’s no chance he’ll wake.
Our dynasty will perpetuate.
Mark Wilson has previously published four poetry collections: Quartet For the End of Time (Editions du Zaporogue, 2011), Passio(Editions du Zaporogue, 2013), The Angel of History (Leaky Boot Press, 2013) and Illuminations (Leaky Boot Press, 2016). He is also the author of a verse-drama, One Eucalyptus Seed, about the arrest and incarceration of Ezra Pound after World War Two. His poemsand articles have appeared in: The Black Herald, The Shop, 3:AM Magazine, International Times, The Fiend, Epignosis Quarterly, Dodging the Rain, The Ekphrastic Review and Le Zaporogue.
The Ekphrastic Review
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