(after Georges de La Tour’s “The Penitent Magdalen”)

say she’s contemplating
her own death,
the fold of her plasticine
hands, not sad, or
overwhelmed but
facing the flame
with a steadfast spine,
not her grave her heart has
sent tendrils of vines toward
while languidly caressing
a skull in her lap, her lust restored
her desire to neutralize
the men that hurt her,
that soiled her
that stoned her
the men that put restrictions on her body
and as for the man that “saved” her,
whose salvation was an airy castle of oppressive conditions
she wished that she had been the one to pierce his side.