Home > Poetry > Venus, Half Dressed
Published: Sat Apr 15 2000
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Venus, Half Dressed

Wet and nude like a fish, she lies back;
the curve of her spine sings Alive, Alive-o!
With the lips of your eyes you kiss her soft hip,
her thigh, her plump calf, each half-painted toe
_              _ like a magnet drawing you into love.

Is this the woman who turned the heads
of old men in Troy? Achilleus’s prize
Agamemnon stole? Velasquez’s friend
Who, in exchange for immortality,
_              _ slept with the artist every night?

Look! A boy has captured her face
in his mirror. There, three figures meet.
Time flows like water over soft gray silk.
Space fills with her breasts. In the blue distance
_                _dawn breaks in the perfect sky.

See what's inside AGNI 51

F. D. Reeve, poet and novelist, most recently published The Moon and Other Failures (Michigan State University Press, 1999). His chamber oratorio The Urban Stampede, with music by Andrew Gant, had its world premiere in April 2000 at London’s Barbican and the book form was released in 2001 (Michigan State University Press, 2001).  (updated 2023)

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