Had he a quiver, as Artemis?
Embossed insignia, buckskin stitched
Pandora’s precious satchel, steadfast
Braced to spine as iron to drowning lung
Had he a bow, as Apollo?
Strung taut, thread of goldenrod
Emblazoned with fate’s interferences
Pierced as kismet to Achilles’ bleeding heel
Had he an arrow, as Eros?
Opium dipped, love’s apocalypse
Molten tipped, deluge of lanceolate
Sloped as bee-stung lip to aching skin
Oh, if so—
Be the warden
Of my heart’s reserve
And, if it—
Pleases thee, conserve me
| a. duncan, 2019 |