Lit by the gold of an afternoon
from the skylight,
a slight and barefoot servant girl,
her plaited hair bound up and
secured with a lyre's harp,
moves from guest to guest, who wait
and mime in the reception hall
of an Athenian bathhouse.
She, bending low, holding a tray
where each man takes a cup to sip from,
peering over the rim,
musing at the heat underfoot from
the fires beneath the stone works,
as a lesser fire stokes those who
watch her with eyes steaming,
melting their cynicism.
Drawn to and leaning forward,
feeling like the beguiling child
who sees his reflection
in the sweet water of a deep well
before falling in without a sound--
the neckline of her tunic folds open,
unspooling her fragrance,
evoking visions of its offerings.