Arcadia

By M. B. McClatchey

Hear the songs you crave. You shall have your
songs, she another kind of reward.
— Virgil, Ecologue VI

The city is sleeping in. Their breaths
rise and part. Here at my desk

and on a kind of wing, I slip into a dream
that you seem to deliver: hips lifting

and rocking, heels digging in.
O, what kind of play is this?

Is it what is real and what is not?
What clarity it brings

about the mind’s cool refusal
to over-script the heart’s sense of time;

about the body’s urge to live its life.
Pulled from one place, how naturally

it grafts itself onto another; how, even
in the driest season, we look for yield:

shocking pink blossoms from clay earth
or lilies from the dry cross-weave

in a chair of forgetfulness.
Or, about love’s need to perform

what it knows — as in Rodin’s
artful unfinishedness:

a passionate kiss, a woman’s hips
turning on a mass

of roughhewn marble to which
lovers are always attached. 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 9. This version corrects a text error in the original publication.

M. B. McLatchey’s recent awards include the Spoon Rive Poetry Review’s 2007 Editor’s Prize, the 207 Peneolpe Niven Creative Nonfiction Award, and the Annie Finch Prize for Poetry. She is a Professor of Humanities at Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida.

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