Tamar

By Nancy Hightower

tell me how many men

must i have roll off me

in the night and wake

to find my husbands dead again?

black widowed into whoredom,

i am a patient woman, waiting

lifetimes, sitting on the side of the road,

ready to grasp with both hands

a lonely soul needing night-comfort.

there is a journey

through the realm of curses,

barrenness to push

in front of you—a broken cart,

God's displeasure,

call it what you will.

still, i plan to take the lion by the mane

and wrestle him till dawn,

will wear his bracelet

and pretty trinkets

until twins claw their way

into history, scarlet bound.

every step,

a bruise closer

to the serpent's head.


Nancy Hightower lectures on the rhetorics of the grotesque and fantastic in art, film, & literature. She is an art columnist for Weird Fiction Review and has had work published in Word Riot, Prick of the Spindle, storySouth, and Bourbon Penn, among others.

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