how to catch a god

by Laura Scott

It’s all about desire, you have to get that, you have to find a way

          to push it into the stone  –  make it big 

 

because there’s so much of it and it keeps moving and flowing 

          like the river. There’s his, to pull himself

 

out of the water onto the land, there’s ours, to watch him, to see him

          in the act of making a new gorgeous line of himself,

 

and there’s yours, to show us, to draw the desire from its source,

          to spin it and circle it, so its truth ripples

 

through the marble and we feel it in the slant of him, as we circle him

          and see his breath move like water

 

through his lungs, and the space between his thighs and the cracked scar

          that cuts across the back of him and imagine,

 

for a moment, that it’s us  –  no, not us, me  –  he is turning towards,

          my body that will feel the weight of his.

 

That’s what you have to do to beckon him down from the mountain

          and push the warmth and the ease of him

 

into your cold stone. Start with that notch at the base of his throat,

          carve that thimble where the bone coves.

 

And then follow and hollow out the line that runs from there as it

          meanders and trickles through his pectorals

 

and under the swerve of his ribs. Open up the space between rib and hip

          until we hear them call out to each other

 

across the smooth stone of his skin. Slow time with your hands so it

          pendulum hangs heavy and suspended in that moment

 

before movement, when the muscles are still and soft, waiting to harden

          and contract. Make his torso lean on a hand

 

that’s no longer there. Splay its rays so we think we see him press

          down on its palm to catch the mass of himself

 

and haul it up like a magnificent fish pulled dripping and gleaming

          out of the river. And when you’ve done that, you’re nearly there.

 

All you need to do now is seal out death, it has no place here. 

          It casts no shadow on this stone.