A servant tastes forbidden snake,
and words of beasts open his mind
to rings of gold at sea's bottom,
to secrets of every last grain,
to ravening flights to the core
of things — where trees of life heavy
with moist green light will drop
perfect golden apples from the clouds,
so that his lowly heart can look up:
a poor boy marrying his wildest dream—
a queen gorgeous beyond belief,
overripe with long–delayed desire,
whose empty chamber he will fill
with one golden baby after another.
About the Author: Joseph Stanton has published poetry in a wide variety of journals and anthologies including Poetry, Poetry East, New York Quarterly, Ekphrasis, and Harvard Review. His work has been collected in Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art, What the Kite Thinks, and Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinals Baseball. His scholarly work has appeared in such journals as American Art, Art Criticism, Journal of American Culture, and Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Stanton teaches art history and American studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
Copyright © 1999 by Joseph Stanton. The poem originally appeared in Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art, published by Time Being Books. It may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.