Friday, October 21, 2022

Scene from Medieval War by Valzhyna Mort

Scene from Medieval War


When God appears before me he is a burning
woman tied to a bush.

Her nakedness, a missed

spot on a busy canvas, where a male hand
has been practicing female gestures. For instance,

hanging herself like laundry over her own arm.

Nipple-colons introduce this scene of medieval war:

horses crowned with riders are leaving;
horses’ tails, like a clock’s hands, whip
flies of hours off their round thighs.

Time is an insect that leaves
its maggots to hatch on an open wound of a mammal.

There’s more face on these thighs than on all of the women’s bodies.

One, with an arrow aimed at her, hands on her bent
knees as if she wanted to ski into death like a scared

child, mocks the splendid horse tails with hair
so red, all of her blood must have gone into it.

So, it isn’t a bush on fire. It’s red hair she used
as a shield. In the distance, a town burning.

Impatiently, horses whip buzzing ashes. The end.

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