MY BLANK LITTLE BEAUTY
(composed by the Emperor Hadrian on the death of Antinous and translated from the Greek by __________)
I used to have you as my diadem
my diachronic memory,
but now I have only diarhhrea. It's true
Socrates had his Alcibiades -
Achilles his Patroclus -
should not Hadrian have his Antinous, too,
my blank young beauty, to cast his Muse?
Do not refuse to play your part
in the service of Art
and civic responsibility.
From lassitude, anxiety, fear and sloth
you'd grown to love me:
on the lion hunt fused into one flesh,
as our horses reared;
purple and gold stitched into one cloth;
ripe grapes entwined on the vine;
red togas in tapestry;
fiery lines of poetry
enshrined in perfect rhyme.
So, I'll fashion clay, mud from the Nile,
marmoreal bone of pure white stone
and lapidary flesh to caress
instead of your sweet breath,
your wet tears and tantrums, too.
I'll build cities for you,
share your god-like image across the world,
for you held, when we loved,
my ecstasy, my mind, my soul, my Genius!
You embraced the slippery tongue of my poetry
in the porches of your ear;
you were the vessel for my breath, sweat, creative fire.
You are the Vision I propose
for all Time and Truth;
your tomb will flower in the desert of my repose.