Sarcastic Torso of Apollo
after Rainer Maria Rilke
He‘s lost his head (yes, literally). Who knows
what scornful eyeballs would have scanned you there?
And yet his sixpack abs appear to stare
at you with disapproval that still glows.
If not, how could that bulging, pumped-up chest
have power to knock your eyes out, or the crease
between his thighs and groin give you no peace,
grinning from where his joystick used to rest?
This stone would otherwise stand cropped and squat
under the shoulders’ lustrous curves and not
shimmer as glossily as panthers’ fur.
It wouldn’t shout from every contour, rife
with put-down, like a star to a voyeur:
“I’m watching you, you pervert. Get a life!”
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Susan McLean
would be pleased to hear them.