I’ve won my uncle’s heart and bring you proof
Of your revenge. This platter, Mother, is
My gift to you, who taught me how to put
The hunger in men’s souls. Today I learned
How deep their twisting streams of passions run.
As you had said, my uncle’s cowardice
Could not exceed his beastly lust for me,
And your accuser’s paid the price you set
To satisfy an old man’s lechery.
So here’s your prize. But now I want it back.
If I had known this man whose head I bring
He might have tempted me with righteousness
And certainty. I know this from his eyes.
The soldiers could not close them. Even now
Your hate can’t make them shut. See how they burn.
They threw my uncle’s body into fits
And made him lose his appetite for me.
He lost his dinner too. He’s such a fool.
But here’s no fool. These eyes that will not close
Undress our souls. They see our nakedness.
You’ve had revenge. My uncle’s had his fun.
I’ve one request before we put these things
To rest. Give me the head. Let me preserve
It here beneath these veils. In time, its eyes
Might drive us mad, or teach us how to see.
Originally published in The Formalist, Volume 14, Issue 2. 2003.
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