Actaeon and Apollo
Nell DiPasquantonio

We stood and we spoke in the woods where you tamed her,
where you first saw her bathing,
where you courted and maimed her.
And you in your frolics
and her in her prime,
like the way that the birch bark is engulfed by the vine.

Your rude profanation of her fastidious beauty,
the faults of your foibles,
the soft dirge of your duty.
And though craving her comfort,
you were glad to be rid
of the purloined affection your nature forbid.

So with graces abounding you stepped towards the shade,
as though sun could divulge you,
pierce your promises made.
And though she stirred me to spurn you,
you still made me to care,
with your wit and your cunning, running hands through your hair.

And your nearness was heady, in the heat of exchange
I got restless and whispered:
“Far be it from me to ask you to change.”
And that’s how they get you,
when you let them alone;
The leaden-tipped laurels at once having grown.