Verses from a modern “Priapeia”: 32

If you, who banquet at my altar,
Who taste of each my pleasant fruits,
Who share my meat and share my figs
And wash them down with tinctured juice
And leave without the gracious thanks
Of a clever, sporting verse
I pray to Alastor and Fate
To hear and then to grant my curse:
May your wife and lusty mistress
Enjoy your dozen rival’s cocks
And may each cock be bountiful,
Delicious and as hard as rock
And may you always sleep alone
While hungry mice gnaw at your bone.

Michael Curtis is a classical sculptor, painter, and architect who lives in Alexandria, Virginia. His verses have been published in Candelabrum, Blue Unicorn, The New Formalist, The Lyric, American Arts Quarterly, Amphora, Pivot, and many other journals. His translation of Afrikaans verse, “Land of Sunlight and Stars” will be published in 2012.