It is said that Endymion asked
for eternal sleep, and that Zeus
granted this boon; so that, henceforth,
his memories of Selene, like an especial thread of silk,
would weave within a Byzantine complexity of dreams.
Only, now, he is unable to awaken; the moon
orbits forever. Peasants here
point out the cave where he lies
on Mt. Latmus. It is difficult
to discern during the day, a mere
out-jutting on the side of a cliff. A conjecture.
Its inaccessibility denies scepticism.
Acceptance seems an approach more compatible
with the Greek Mind’s need
to be at one with its infinitely more interesting past.
On a clear night, memories
of demonic times become pertinent.
Moon glow imprints itself
on the mountain, appears
to funnel down to the mouth
of the cave, reflecting scary interpretations.
It is as though an accumulator
had been placed in a rocky shelf
by an Olympian Tourist Board,
creating an etherially obscure Sound and Light Show
to both confuse and illuminate the uninitiated.
It is as though the Goddess
had come, as a kind of penance,
to view that beauty of true flesh
which must inevitably be rejected.
Day by day, Olympiad following Olympiad,
the progeny of such a union
must mourn its parentage.
In the morning only dew remains.
No photo-magnetic images, no electrical signals.
Not even a torso, a truncated Grecian cast
to lend an air of permanence.
Such is the god-prescribed panacea: Valium, for example,
as a cure for human aspiration.
Believe what you will: Endymion dreams, caresses;
Zeus alone communes with the moonlight.