Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne
Daphne is fleeing Apollo –
and her face is an open book of terror.
She’d rather be a laurel tree
than live the captive life
of an object of once passionate pursuit.
Apollo’s hand slips around her waist,
her abdomen already transitioning to bark,
yet through the wood he feels in her gut
her beating, throbbing heart,
and he, his passion a misdirected vector,
could not care less. Look at his face.
His focus is the hunt, the game, while
her fingers become leaves, her arms, branches.
The transformation is a meditation.