TORSO

Bo Niles

 

An ekphrasitc poem based on
MARBLE TORSO OF A YOUTH
Roman, 1st Century
In the Greek and Roman Galleries
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Look at me!
Circle me
Study my stance
My musculature
My buttocks
My stone-silk skin

Caress with your gaze
The soft intake of breath
Along my abdomen

Mourn my pocked shoulders
My sheared penis
My abraded nipples
My lost limbs
My long-forgotten face
With its tight wet-curled hair

Mourn those souvenirs
Of conquest
As I journeyed
From my world
To enslavement in yours

Look at me!
Taste me!
Smell me!
Listen!
My heart still beats
Within this stone breast
With the same rapture
As my sculptor-lover’s
When he dreamt me
Whole and undefiled
As he seduced my boy-beauty
From marble into seemly flesh
With his chisel and whetstone
Shiver by dusty shiver

Bo Niles is a former magazine editor and author who specialized in architecture and design. She is a co-author of the Carnegie Hill Neighbor's Architectural Guide. Since her retirement, she has participated in a number of poetry workshops at the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center, including this fall's class on poetic forms with Rachel Hadas.