in memory of Amy Clampitt

I. Marble

What they had for ideals
must persist in the taut set
of that rearing horse's head,
a band of muscle thick
as an arm at its neck,
its ears like flames.
The nude, reclining, has an
equal, if opposite, grace:
his hand in the air, a bent
knee, give form to
our names for hand, for knee.
And the ball of his shoulder
has the repose of power
in it, his face broods
on deathlessness. Aftermaths
of that brooding, we stare
as if our own timeliness
were inscribed there, as if
the torque of a chest,
or wind pleating a god's
skirt, were beauty enough
to move our lives by.
But quiet is all we learn
about: how, almost audible
in the twilight, the throng
of the frieze faces a
black ocean, a bronze horizon.