Cyprus Aphrodite Revisited
The gouache of the moon whitewashes a darkness
that Mediterranean constellations can't lighten.
The chalk whispers, "Absence is here since she's
I wish the chalk wouldn't whisper so loud;
in fact it's like it's scraping night's blackboard,
then erasing its message.
I don't want to see it;
like blood in the bull ring, I don't want to see it;
I don't want to read the screed of the chalk
whose graffiti is so extreme it covers
the walls, the rock fences, the clock tower.
It's chalk on all blackboards till there's only chalk
some would think is unmitigated moonlight,
or great white rectangles like pages unwritten.
This chalk could even turn red blood cells white
as the moon broods over its legendary waters
sated with sea serpents and other scaly monsters,
and stuffed with legends and civilization's shuck
and jive, all of it blown off like mist
towards morning that serves up the lighter light
of day that blots up the richer shades of night,
so why aren't my feelings also whited out outright, right?
Andrew Oerke's poems his
have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry,
and in numerous other magazines. In 2006 two new books of his poetry, African
Stiltdancer and San Miguel de Allende, were published
jointly by Swan Books and the UN Society for Writers and Artists. They
have received the United Nations Literature Award. His most recent book
of poetry, Never Seek to Tell Thy Love, was published in 2010.