Ed Barrett

Fractals: Acis and Galatea

glorious loving
is a beautiful
no essence 
the body
of its armor,
blood and love,
a mythology
with its own
lunging and
diffusing its
iconic predicaments
in a vivacious scene

who then
if stepping
from a scene
in the alcove
where the stream
is so cold it
makes you dizzy?
who then
says “crystal
net, you
you fall
all over me,
my face gives
you contour,
gives you
my cheek bones,
my breath,
sweet as
a cherry
sleigh bed,
a human
problem, the
letter I
hungry for
the letter
I, spinning
there on itself?”

yes, as you
wrote: “each
fossil immortal
act,” plaited
with mud,
plaited with
songs, immortal
of wishes,
immortal of
lies, divine thises
and thatses,
muddy lungs,
plaited with ribs,
falling head
over heels
in love, the
currency of life
changing dark
seaweed dollar
green into
blouse and
summer skirt
pastels of lighter
euro notes

as if you
held a shell
over your
eyes and
saw the ocean
toss its pearl
slip and white
foam panties
at your feet
and you think
you can reach
through the shower
curtain of your
body into these
immortal waves
like a child
reaching for
a shiny shell

* * *

Excerpted from the four-part poem, “Naked as a Dime.” Acis and Galetea are figures from Greek myth, whose story appears in Book XIII of Ovid’s Metamorphosis. The mortal Acis and the sea-nymph Galatea fell in love. When a cyclops killed Acis, Galatea transformed her paramour into a river spirit. The story is a frequent subject in Renaissance and Baroque art including Handel’s pastoral opera, Acis and Galatea (1718).