Friday, 22 April 2016

Judith Beheads (Edit 1)

So charming Judith, how did you experience
the feel when the held knife sliced through
The flesh and chords of the general’s throat?

Did you watch the blood spurt, free at last (free at last)
From the tunnel of discord? Did you whisper to mask
The gurgle of his approaching silence?  Were you forced
To saw with furrowed brow and stern hands; your lips
Pressed, your tongue pushed passed – an act of command?

His killing hands, only moments prior plump with desire,
Did they try to defend or was sleep so complete
That his slide into death was but a moment’s passion?

Did Death’s graceless hands, rather than the General’s,
Caress your face? Did Death’s white lips lean in close
To Kiss your throat as your knife kissed Holofernes?

When you carried away his severed head
Wrapped in a cloth, did its weight echo
The memory of a babe in your arms?

So sweet Judith, after that act, what could come next?
Having faced the general in that tent,
Having drunk him to his sleep (and did you show, perhaps,
A hint of flesh, a lick of your lips, a twirl of hair and flutter
Of a laugh) after he swooned into sleep and you produced
The knife that led to his death, was the rest of your life…

Merely an aftermath?

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