In the pedestal bowl rests oyster and artichoke and chilies She has rinsed and now carries them carefully, as if they are the keys to the kingdom and they are If thou art a Grecian goddess, then I be the sophist, the bush tender and the like How I long to be a handmaiden, though—servant in the shadows, attendant awaiting in the alcoves How long does the maid spend freely in her bedchambers? How much time is spent warming her pearls and pendants and armbands and rings? How often does she go to the food stores and pluck from the cornucopia, the food of love? How I yearn to be the chambermaid, warm water and oils and rags ready when it came time to wash the day off. How I desire to be the one advising her attire, dressing her ******* in silk and linen. How I yearn to come with pomegranate, fig, and frond to fan her while she gives pleasure, fruit in hand. How I envy the handmaiden who knows her as closely as she knows herself.