“Do not touch this. You will only have troubles and problems.”
– Archeologist, Iris Love, to Getty Museum officials on the prospective purchase of the Statue of (arguably) Aphrodite (more likely Persephone)
Pockets line the cobbled truth,
rib the spaces,
make a body of her.
Her head is more ancient,
over platform and clasp.
She is composite,
incomplete. More of her
is tender, absent and stashed.
Looters more balletic than god
bonded the stones, but she
has long since left them,
grown monument to the ripe
from which pours everything.
Limestone fossils trace vague lines.
All is song, not origin.
She wades in out of the river
of the misnomer, a fiction,
her pulse the dereliction,
gone looting, hunting heartbeat.
Statuette of Aphrodite, 300–200 B.C., Terracotta with white slip and polychromy (light blue, pink, red)
28.7 × 10.7 cm (11 5/16 × 4 3/16 in.), 71.AD.131
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California