Red-Figured Cup, Attributed To The Brygos Painter

(Greek, about 490–480 BC, made in Athens, found at Vulci)

red figured cup, attributed to the Brygos Painter
I won't believe them, tucked away in the shallow past,
who state with such blankfaced certainty
that she is a simply a dancer, he a flautist:

that her delicate robe belongs filed in the reference lists
tessellating with fragments of attic-red cup and vase
photographed, photographed, peeling, flinty,

forgetting that we have only perhaps,
utterly and only perhaps, with which to glove our hands
as we raise this glass and taste their story.

Only in this sip is the paint still fresh and glorious:
his palm not marking time but quieting her lapse,
as she tiptoes millennia into his outstretched hands

and reclines, thighs splayed wide as a martini glass
so he may drink of her, secure in the shadows of her dress.