Circa 1976: Eclogue After Vergil And Theocritus, Primarily

Pastel gray clouds of mid-spring
released their small, pure droplets
to earth; on to the campus,
just after the day's last class
on a Friday afternoon.
No storm expected; just a
gentle drizzle, unusually
warm (as recent days and nights
had been). Four freshmen, in the
last year of their adolescence,
emerged from the academic
building. No word was spoken;
no suggestion to try a
new experience; and none
of them had brought books to class
(one of those lectures they liked):
so, in a unison---
despite stares of passing,
disapproving professors
(professors but not scholars
of poetry in any way)---
in their own choreography,
each of them removed his shoes;
then his shirt and then his socks---
making a pile on a nearby
bench. Then, clad only in jeans
(and whatever they wore beneath
their jeans; thongs one might have hoped),
they walked together in the
direction of the hollow
(not toward Dormitory Row)
a copse of trees in a meadow
(preserved despite the surrounding
urban landscape) full of blooming
wildflowers; and from Buck Creek,
a small branch (narrow, ankle-deep
only, the bottom covered
with fine, smooth gravel).
As they entered that often
ignored penetralia,
they were transformed in a way---
no longer just four freshmen,
but two couples; no longer
bound by societal strictures.
They thought of certain poems---eclogues---
Theocritus and Vergil---
totally unexpurgated,
in a rather candid English
translation (daring even).
Two pairs of hands enclasped as
they moved with delicate footsteps---
eagerly shirtless, barefoot---
where canopic shade and slanted
shafts of sunlight alternated;
and the fragrance of verdure
mingled with the scent of the
delicate rain that had prepared
them for this pleasant adventure.
Their breathing and pulses had
accelerated a little.
Pliant lips pressed against lips'
softness; tongue tips touched and explored
wet mouths eager to receive them.
Dancing fingertips examined
the major and minor points
of pleasure offered by torsos
bare from the waist up; and then,
as if a dessert, the flexing
of sensual, grass-stained soles
and toes responding to teases.



After their return, after
supper in the dining hall,
dusk would become the overture
of Friday night and its many
uninhibited hours; and as
they were males, the two a.m.
end to "visitation" could
not disrupt the cacade of
surging delectations,
of several varieties,
on the beds they wanted to share,
couples now, and ready for love.





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