Apollo and Marsyas


Andrew Shields

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 107 in 2004.

Where is the lord of that chateau?
Where the watchman, where the guard?
Cracks of age are in the sky.
The birds are diving toward the pond.

The leaves would teach the soil shame.
It does not know the taste of blood.
An abstinent could never be so thirsty.
Every sip will make it want another.

The naked man is piping out a tune.
The naked god has put his lyre down,
but canvas cannot put aside
its attributes, and even the painter
did not put down his name, his age.

Where are the witnesses? Where are the knives?