To Anaktoria


~~from Sapppho, by Kent H. Dixon

Some say spectacle, like China

in one of her public squares you can hardly 

see                                                                    across,

a billion ants swinging in unison—

one gesture, one shout, one red thought;


or the Big Bang theory. That would be nice

on a wide screen; or its pale second that we read about:

Total Warheads Equivalent to 1.3 million Hiroshimas…

Feast your peepers on that, before they melt.


You liked the Tall Ships that summer? More impressive

was the hazard they brought to the flakey black Jersey cliffs,

drawing such a crowd.


That sort of thing (allowing for taste)

is the best in pomp, they say. Except,


didn’t Elene what’s-her-face leave her husband, parents,

even her kid—terrific kid, and her husband something

of a superstar and devoted—top of the heap all of them,


and she deserts, flees the country with a snarfing puke

of a man—high school still figured large in his conversation.


Led on she was by that full moon in the loins,

that calls out the thirsty man-wolf and dissolves all else.

We are fain to call it love, for it kills as much a cures.

Didn’t Sappho die of it?


Well, we wouldn’t be without it, even if our own, Anaktoria,

is stretched to breaking. So far. You might as well have moved

to Califorinia. Yet still, more than all such wonders,


I would rather suffer your soft turning, your smile,

as long as I have eyes.