Christopher Bakken

His marble skin had damaged light.

I was the one who woke the eyes with salt.
I retrieved his scattered limbs,
returned to his torso the bowling ball head
from that museum in Munich,
secured the fillet to hold his Delphic hair.

When he fell apart, I put back what I could.
So neither of us wasted our lives.

We remember horses and dogs we have loved,
the flogged and the burned,
the bottomed-out chariots of Xerxes,
the isthmus we crossed, in opposite armies,
a thousand beards we might have grown,
ten thousand dreams gone to seed.

As if we were one dread-locked Doric column,
one archaic smile now revealing its sadness,
one spotlit shadow of something no longer there:
half god, half beast, one contemplative feast
fit for no king, fit for almost nothing.

And yet he stayed still long enough,
so even I could shake my bones,
shed the rakish grin, the brain I’m in,
re-cast myself in his image of stone.