The Temptation of St Anthony II
From Emperor to Vampire, then a journey to resting place of amoral monk.
Dwelling in ruined fort, living in a sin of retired idleness. Momentary desires
to follow the birds south, he spends his days tending a garden of lilies in the desert.
Anthony holds his poetess captive for too long without his hands, she now writhes
naked and tied to column of lost temple. Tresses burnt dark from exposure, tantalized
by a God that brings her an ambrosia of light that transforms her dishonour into beauty.
He kneels to pray, lifting his eyes to see diamonds that sparkle within cobwebbed clouds
of time. Lips thin as he repeats supplication to attain a separation of will from his saintliness.
He exists in immensity of memories that create an illustrious sun, slowly beating him ashen.
“I should have been tied to the column near to thine, face to face, under thy eyes.”*
No Queen of Sheba, Greek goddess or any other mirrored manifestation of Magdalene
can stir him from his solitude. Solemn palm stands proud, shading him from enticement.
Every supper, when he breaks bread, the serpent wrapped round it slides away to the sea.
Amongst pillow saturated by aroma of the palm, he is eased into sleep. An owl’s wing
softly brushes his cheek, powdering his skin against succubus of lust, that swells in unrest
and desperation, clasping him in persuasion to give in and cry out together, never again.
“I feel my heart growing as the sea when she swells before the storm.” *
He dreams of faded flowers, fruits too ripe, which fall away into the thickness of the night.
Clinging to twilight bride’s back, she shows him stars that burn eternal and hold no limits.
Come morning, he remembers nothing. Only echo of memory, a thought – of distant remorse.
“All have passed. There remaineth me”*
*Gustave Flaubert – The Temptation of St. Anthony
© Katypoetess 2015