Prayer to Artemis, Aphrodite, and Apollo

Dreams and nightmares alike
tiptoe away in the morning:
my wife and I
nursing our infants
on white linen sheets,
or my brother’s docile dog
killing a cow near a pond–
evaporate with the
dew Artemis brings each night.
I pray to any god
who will deign to hear me,
let Apollo burm my childhood
to ash. Let Apollo
incinerate every sinful moment that
deathless Aphrodite struck
my shattered mind dumb
with carnal curiosity,
with hunger for man’s flesh.
I pray, let me dream only of
Sappho and Cleis, let me
be their cupbearer,
let me find favor with
the virgin godesses, and let
the virgins plant violets, poppies,
and pomegranates
in the ruined cities
left by men.


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