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He’s humming the saudade, we’re stopped at horses, and men—my friend who loves men I who love men and I am your friend I say, I know, he says, so few say it, he says I know, I say, the fierce ballet of muscled legs, genitals capturing each of our wants—in limestone. How have your days been I say not your succès d'estime or your failed crowns or mine—I’m weary of celibacy he says, eyes on the Elgin Centaurs, battling warrior-boys forever—father, forever, son, it’s war for men he says, elder—tested to a kill by a perfect boy’s fist, the centaur’s heft and metaphor winning— youth proving, and proving, but neither older or younger follow me home now he says I know, I say, but days, some simple days, a noise of water running green to its garden pool, pearl moans of folded wings, an astonishment of early blossom—don’t believe me, I say, reaching no hand but this kindred-sister-lust toward horse, and man, whatever age, old friend —we adjust our shawls, turn separate spines on men and centaurs and warriors, our age and mortal youth, our unto-death un-killed desires, old friend, walk me to some square of peace —there’s one around the corner, stand before its lack of battle black tulips, its blooms, its city petals —and thank you for your human eye not other than God’s I think, or mine…tell me I say what’s lost…
From Before the Drought by Margo Berdeshevsky (Glass Lyre Press, 2021).
Reprinted in Vox Populi by permission of the author.
Margo Berdeshevsky, born in New York City, often lives and writes in Paris. Her
“Letters from Paris” have appeared for many years in Poetry International online.
Metope from the Elgin marbles depicting a Centaur and a Lapith fighting