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(Poem) many breasted by Susan Hawthorne

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the many-breasted ones are here in droves

from Rome comes Lupa in company

with harpies griffins and Egyptian phoenix

they howl and call like a rabble of banshees

from Ephesus Diana her many breasts

sweet as mangoes as the ancient Tamil

poets would say

Livia welcomes them provides spritz

Aperol or Campari she asks

introduces them to a group of dust-red women

their breasts painted up

the women invite the old ones to dance with them

their easy shuffle raises the dust of the piazza

they dance to the sound of an ancient drone

and rising voices

look it’s Psappha and her thiasos

come to join the dance their tender feet

continuing though no sweet meadow

of pale summer grass here

there’s a vibration in the air rarely felt these past

six thousand years

Photo credit: Diana of Ephesus in the Musei Capitolini, Tome, Susan Hawthorne, 2013. Photo credit: Diana of Ephesus in the Musei Capitolini, Tome, Susan Hawthorne, 2013.

The poem is…

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