Aphrodite

By DAVID GAVIN 

 

About twelve years ago I went into a museum in southern Turkey:

Antalya, a resort town on the Mediterranean. I’m not really

the type of person who hangs around museums looking

at artifacts behind glass: swords and scabbards, shields,

frayed bits of clothing, shards of pottery, urns, jewelry,

etc. But here I was in Turkey surrounded by antiquities.

Even the pansyion I was staying at had slabs of masonry

inscribed with Roman numerals embedded in its walls.

I mean, everywhere I went there were ruins, temples

and ancient cities: Ephesus, Olympos, Kas, places visited

by Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra,

people like that. Places that were pretty old, ancient,

even when they had stopped by. So, I figured I’d check

out the museum. There was a nude marble statue there

of Aphrodite, two, three thousand years old. I stood

for a while and stared at it—at her. She looked so beautiful:

shapely, shy, sensuous, all woman. If I’d closed my eyes

I could almost have imagined her alive and breathing.

 

Terri, I wish I had a picture I could show you.

You see, you look just like her. Sunday morning

when you climbed out of bed and walked across

the room, I lay there and said to myself,

“There she is: Aphrodite of the Plains.”

 

David Gavin’s poem “Aphrodite” appears in Issue 6 of The Common.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 06 here]

 

Aphrodite

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