"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


The Awakening of Adonis

The Awakening of Adonis

John Waterhouse circa 1900

Imagine she is just pulling away from his lips,
Aphrodite kneeled over her rose-cheeked prize,
breathing in his breath of dreams – dreams of her 
and windflower – and his eyes open to find hers.

Or imagine she moved to kiss but paused 
because he stirred, sensing her nearness; 
the Romans were right, how celestial she is, 
Venus’ gravity enough to pull him from sleep. 

Focus on this moment: they are not touching 
but they have and they will and they will have
each other until winter comes and Lady Death 
offers her own lips to end Adonis’ dreams. 

In the painting he will always be caught 
in the blue hour of awakening to spring, 
to flowers, to his lover’s eyes, tilted,
as she hovers before a first, or second, kiss.  


Davis Einolf is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars program. He lives with his wife and two dogs and writes somewhere just outside of that life.

Cover photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

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