David B. Prather

Hey, Zeus

Urchin at Rest by Georgios Jakobides

Where have you been keeping yourself?

I imagine you naked and proud
seated upon your throne, your home
populated with eager lovers,
your retirement unencumbered by prayers.
If I had to make a guess, I’d wager
you make your home
under the rays of another star.  This afternoon,

only clouds, greedy clouds
steal the day, and I find myself wanting
to sit with you, to feast

upon olives and goat cheese and deep red wine.

I want to partake of Aegean waters and ancient blue skies.
I want to dance through supernal hallways
and bathe in your gray-whiskered wisdom.

Do you still affect your powers
in strange and unusual ways?

I think I could fall for you, simply
step through the atmosphere, break the clouds,
sift air through my fingers, and land in a heap

at your feet.

I don’t mean to make you uncomfortable,
but you are just my type.  Yes,

I know how desperate that may sound, but I am
honestly attracted to older gods.

Come to me as an apple tree
late at night.  Rap at my window
and call me to your darkness.

I mean call me out into a night full of dew.
I will follow you to your temple.
I will follow you to another world.

Let my body become your own,
my knobby knees, my gray eyes, my rushing groin.
Let mere mortals tell the story of how I was seduced,
or better yet, how I seduced you
and entered this supernatural life.

Let people chisel great stone blocks
and drag them into place.  Let wild flowers grow
in the seams between each rock.

Let the rain touch us gentle
as the first lover who has no choice
but to enter heaven.


About the writer:
David B. Prather received his MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. His first collection, We Were Birds, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Publishing. His poetry has appeared in many journals, including Colorado Review, Seneca Review, Prairie Schooner, The American Journal of Poetry, American Literary Review, Poet Lore, and others.

Image: Urchin at Rest by Georgios Jakobides (1853-1932). Oil on canvas. 39.7 x 29.1 inches. 1875. Public domain.