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digital photo of ralph samuel in philadelphia by andrew lovatt


aristophane's redux

by ralph david samuel

"Primeval man was round… Zeus said, I will cut them in two …. Now each is but the indenture of a man, always looking for his other half…and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love." -- Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium, Jowett, Tr.

At first we played, and didn’t see
our eyes exchange the secrets,
nor could we know our breezy words
carried unseen fertile seeds

that germinated silently,
spread tendrils so delicate
they grew through all my nerves,
before I knew the ache

of yearning to be whole, felt
your silent lips excite my every sense
except to hear. That one
you overwhelmed with sighs

as we entered life conjoined;
one self we breathed, until we
barely felt what we had lost: those days
of half-full hours lived half apart.


(c) by Ralph David Samuel, 2002, all rights reserved.


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