A rose is arrows is eros
- Julian T. Brolaski
A gnarled tree or a marble pillar, it doesn’t matter.
The most attractive cliché: depicted far too young to be
a captain of the Praetorian Guard. It was the artists
of the Renaissance anointed him patron saint of
male beauty (Antinous being too pagan, too
surrogate crucifixion, the ideal of the age: quattrocento
ephebe, bonelessly androgynous slumping against
his bonds, or cinquecento athlete in marble arching
provocatively contrapposto toward the viewer.
Eyes on God, the heated blood seeks exit in
ecstasy; each arrow a little bird of longing,
the desiring gazes of the multitude.
Blood seethes. His body is a fleeting prayer,
not his martyrdom. That isn’t resignation,
but triumph: heroic weakness. His life is
irrelevant, but his death is a second life
as paint-bright Autumn is a second Spring.