Antinous and Apis
Today, he becomes the shape of the bull
who has his temple at the Balance of the Two Lands
to carry the prayers of all the Egyptians
to the gods and to himself along the Nile.
The bull does not swim to a northern island
to contend with two swineherds in the shape of bulls–
one white-horned, one black–to shape the land,
for a third bull would destroy the island itself.
The bull does not traipse the skies to Persia
to contend with Mithras and his cohort of crabs,
scorpions, snakes, dogs, and diminutive torchbearers
to be slain in blood and made into wheat.
The bull does not settle amidst the priests
to be lead to the slaughter over a pit
where an archigallus readies for a blood shower
and the cymbals of Cybele are ready to clash.
Instead, the bull is harnessed to a yoke,
together with the Mnevis Bull and the Buchis Bull
and is guided by the great god Ptah of far vision
to create the fertile furrow of the Two Lands.
There is no ushabti for the work of a god,
whether in bull form or in human form–
therefore, his friend Ianus of Rome’s doors and bridges
gave Antinous the two-faced form of Apis
sprouting from the red lotus upon the Nile
in the form of Osiris, but without the wings of Sokar
or the diminutive form of Bes as Pataikos;
Antinous-Apis to bring in a harvest of prayers.
Dua Apis! Dua Antnus!