His heart is like a boat that sets forth alone
on the ocean and goes far out from him,
as Aphrodite proceeds on her pleasure journeys.
He pours the gold down the runnels
into a great mystery under the sand.
When he pulls it up by the feet
and knocks off the scale, it is a god.
What is it she finds with those men
that equals this dark birthing? He makes
each immortal manifest. The deities
remain invisible in their pretty gardens
of grass and violets, of daffodils and jasmine.
Even his wife lives like that. Going on yachts,
speaking to the captains in the familiar.
Let them have it, the noons and rain and joy.
He makes a world here out of frog songs
and packed earth. He made his wife
so she contains the green-fleshed
melons of Lindos, thalo blue of the sea,
and one ripe peach at five in the morning.
He fashioned her by the rules, with love,
made her with rage and disillusion.
Linda Gregg, "Hephaestus Alone" from All of it Singing: New & Selected Poems. Copyright © 2008 by Linda Gregg. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, St. Paul, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org.
Source: All of it Singing: New & Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2008)