[This is from Steve Kilbey's 1987 book Earthed.]

Aphrodite

The day Neuman graduated from the Academy you were lying in
bed, idly playing with your hair and staring at the peeling mauve
ceiling. You were thinking about the centaurs and the best way to
catch a snow leopard. You were thinking of the extinct volcano
where you grew up as a child. You couldn't quite remember the name of
the stranger who helped you back on your feet in the night or the
man who felt you expand and collapse under his weight; there was
no reason to believe that today would be an encounter with the mysterious forces of nature.

So you flung back the wooden shutters of your windows and the
morning helped itself to breakfast. You glanced off the virgin
surface of the mirror without a scratch. The carved harp in the
far corner was playing by itself; a mynah bird was saying something
scandalous about the grand visier's new wife just outside on the
roof. Now, more than ever, you needed the azure fix of Greece to
start the day. Snakes never pull on their old skin so you stood
naked at the balcony, and exquisite huntress without a sphere of
reference. Sultana grapes were hanging overhead and a warm
zephyr emphasised the lands' plenty. Not far away the sand and
the silver sea shook into the picture ... a golden strip the limitless
royal blue. This existence was just another set of mild and not
unpleasant ambiguities for you; your body registered raw and
misused but your mind was a wonderful, delicate, intricate feast.
The shells were gently mocking the sea like the laughter of mortals
mocks implacable fate. Unbearable Beauty thrummed through the
nervous systems of all men yet you stood there, alone.

The flaming sun crossed the sky and the cold, dead moon
screamed. You turned and traced your steps back towards the
bed. The cool sheets made you shivers. You fell asleep aroused and
unsatiated. Perhaps tomorrow.

© 1987 Rykodisc ®Steve Kilbey


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