shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Andrew Szilvasy

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Ekphrastic (I)

Sarcophagus Depicting a Battle between Soldiers and Amazons

The broken, headless warriors fight, of course,
for love: the men, to glorify their names
(and Rome), beat back the force of spear and horse
and roam the marble coffin, numb now and tamed;
the Amazons, as Herodotus tells us,
must kill a man if they're to marry one,
and so they battle, by life and love impelled
to fell a Roman, or else live alone.

Need they present the bloody witness of a man?
The limbless, or the beheaded on this tomb—
was it for future husbands they remain
Think on this, and think too on
the man who, missing and missed, waits instead
at home, longingly, for a severed head.