marble sculpture of Adonis by Corradini
[ This image is in the public domain. ]

the Corradini Adonis is missing its Aphrodite

in living memory of adonis: stone-faced
between sunlit fear and moon-eyed dreams
believe me, love, i would’ve kept you
polished and shining—
or split your marble down the middle
on a bad day, maybe

salt fresh frightful, and old
you said i taste like sea foam

am i the curl on your brow?
or the dog around your leg?
we’ll never know

behind a thin museum rope, red velvet, you
sit to be admired, and
i’ll visit, again and again, my fingers curled
and creaking, skin moaning to
feel, touch, stroke heat to the
ivory slope of your youthful cheek

but you are not mine
security’s tight, and there is a crowd
praying for that attention, closed eyes
you died young
and display is no place for me
i know you’d rather stay here