Poetry: On First Seeing Bernini’s Rape of Proserpina by Roger Camp

Photo by Roger Camp

my shirt soaked in the scent
of magnolias
il viale museo borghese
a canopy of entwined limbs
a birth canal leading one in
rather than out
finding myself alone
resting against a Roman column
in a galleria
heavy with honeyed light
my eyes settling
on the abductor’s fingers
pressing into marmoreal flesh
knowing it is untouchable
my hand explores
the frozen reaches
discovering proof of life

Roger Camp lives in Seal Beach, CA, where he muses over his orchids, walks the pier, plays blues piano, and spends afternoons reading under an Angel’s Trumpet with a charm of hummingbirds. When he’s not at home, he’s photographing in the Old World. His work has appeared in Poetry East, Rust+Moth, Gulf Coast, Southern Poetry Review, and Nimrod.

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