SAINT SEBASTIAN


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
passively subservient):

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A SMALL ODE ON HOME SECURITY

THINKING ABOUT LUKE WILLIS THOMPSON

WHY PETER GILDERDALE CAN GET STUFFED