Another Failed Poem About the Greeks
His sword dripped blood. His helmet gleamed.
He dragged a Gorgon's head behind him.
As first dates go, this was problematic.
He itched and fidgeted. He said Could I
save something for you? But I was all out
of maidens bound to rocks. So I took him
on a roller coaster, wedging in next to
his breastplated body in the little car.
He put his arm around me, as the Greeks do.
On the first dip he laughed. On the first drop
he clutched my shoulder and screamed like
a catamite. When we ratcheted to a full stop
he said Again. We went on the Scrambler,
the Apple Turnover, the Log Flume.
We went on the Pirate Ship three times,
swooshing forward, back, upside down,
and he cried Aera! waving his sword,
until the operator asked him to please keep
all swords inside the car. He was a good sport,
letting the drachmas fall out of his pockets;
sparing the girl who spilled punch on his shield;
waving as I rode the carousel's hippogriff
though it was a slow ride, and I made him
hold my purse. On the way home
he said We should do this again sometime
though we both knew it would never happen
since he was Greek, of course, and dead,
and somewhere a maiden rattled in her chains.
Published in I Was the Jukebox (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010).
Published: 22 September 2011
© 2011 Sandra Beasley and Southern Spaces