Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eros and Anteros

When given the words:



There were Callas's arias
in their mother's crinkled bedclothes,
ione trapped in her cedar chest sachets.

They had whirligigs out
in the yard, spinning
pinwheels and wobbling ducks.

Anteros watched them once
for an hour after that accidental
gulp of his father's anis. He caught them--
twice--winking at him.
Meanwhile, Eros burned hair
in the upstairs bathroom.

They had inside games
others envied. One
was called "Threshold."

Some hot, wet-blanketed
afternoons, drooped on the staircase,
one brother would softly say
threshold and the other'd
understand. They'd play:

Eros at his mother's spindle,
balancing her records. Blindfolded
Anteros guessing the tunes
with his tongue, which had kissed
every neighborhood girl.

When Eros was crippled
one Winter, they stayed in, wore
their mother's negligées.
And Anteros told his brother
of these girls, their little mouths
like rain-dampened sugar, like
river moss. Their little
waists in his hands
like warm, combed lambs.

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