Poetry Porch: Forgiveness


Ephebe in Bronze 
by Martin McKinsey 

It perched like a trophy
above your TV: twenty centimeters
of black-green bronze
screwed to a cube of gray marble.

The spear the young Etruscan balanced on
was centuries gone, leaving
the naked poise: one foot lifted
on its point, the haunches flexed.

There was something about the proportions––
the upper torso too small,
the elongated neck.
But the hair was graceful, combed.

“What,” Mom asked for me toward the end,
“do you plan to do with it when . . . ?”
––“The statue’s mine.”
Kevin, your lover, burst in.

He got it, too, which is fine.
I suppose it’s crammed into that
trailer with everything else
he’s sharing with some guy in Colorado––

if he hasn’t already sold it.
That’s what he wanted it for, right?
Then my head is bowed
by another thought: some night

the bronze stood guard over
with its nonexistent spear, its
penis-nub intact––some moment
of mortal defenselessness only

Kevin, now, knows the boundary of,
when you whispered into the ear
of your young ephebe not
––It’s yours, but ––It’s you.

Copyright © 2000 by Martin McKinsey