We walk, then, you and I, on wine-dark beach.
I ask a question, noting grain and wave –
a phosphorescent splash presents a fish,
flat and whiskered, bearing novocaine.
Can you tell me where is virtue born?
Is goodness formed by practice or design,
Or does a teacher transfer noble sights
from incandescent nuggets in his mind?
You say, “Before we probe its provenance,
we have to stop, say first what virtue IS.”
I itemize some just and able acts.
You say, “No virtue there. You cite just bits.”
I’m getting numb. I mean I’m getting dumb.
I’m wriggling on the sand. The stingray struck.
Socrates as stingray is a metaphor from Plato’s dialogue, Meno.