REM ( / Richmond, Virginia)


In dining room smelling of rooks' wet wing
Hot coals burn in place of her eyes
As she crunches small birds for lunch
And yells, "Worthless, accursed idler:
The taste for play when one is grown
Lays hold of empty hearts and heads."

I look at portraits of old men
On walls, their eyeballs expanding
Like flowers as they regard me.
Speak up! Speak up! they seem to say
As she rants on, "You hate me because I'm
Your superior, a woman.
I felt it when you kissed my hand
And wished to bite it off!"

An arch is formed over doorway
Of elephants' tusks placed upright
And meeting together at point.
Her fiery tongue nods ceaselessly
As if in one body she were Ajax
And Aphrodite waging war.

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