Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne
Apollo finally wearies of his lunging rush
at Daphne, whose slender fingertips even now
are changing into sprigs of laurel.
Why does she always have to run so fast?
And to have all her creamy skin covered
by that crust of bark, that always burns him up.
He’d just like to ask her out, so they might
sit together on his back porch in the twilight
and hold hands, or maybe a little more.
And Daphne, sometimes she’d like to turn on him
and dare the gorgeous fool: all right, let’s do it!
Right on the museum floor!
Just to let herself go a little
would be such a relief
after all these strenuous centuries.
She’s seen all the patrician women,
soi disant, stalking and turning
in slacks and sunglasses,
inspecting her with an envy that’s a little smug,
divining her marble beauty did nothing for her.
And all the gasping men, what good were they?
At last she’d just like a home to go to
where she could water the geraniums on the windowsill
and watch her neighbours in the street below.
Yes, she has to admit that the pose
she’s held for so long has been superb
and she’s glad to have had the job,
but finally any cramped apartment would do,
somewhere she could cook some fagioli-- wiping her hands
on a mildewed dishtowel, swatting at flies,
one kid hanging to her sweaty thigh,
and cheesy disco on the radio-- while she waits
for her husband the truck driver to finally come home.
Charles M. Boyer
Charles M. Boyer’s novel, History’s Child, was chosen by Mary Gaitskill as the winner of the AWP Award Series in the Novel and was published by New Issues Press in 2016. He also published poems and short stories in such places Abraxas, Literal Latte, The Larcom Review, The Atlanta Review, and other literary magazines. He received a grant for writing from the Wisconsin Arts Board and a Fellowship from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. Charles Boyer graduated from Beloit College with a junior year at Harris-Manchester College, Oxford, and has an M.A. in fiction writing from the University of New Hampshire. He teaches English and Humanities at Montserrat College of Art and lives with his family near Boston.
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