–after Judy Chicago

She divines her day from the thrum
of her web, her life’s work, her abstract
installation. Each silky shudder
an iota of information as she strums
and plucks across the galaxy by feel.
A bite-sized Penelope, she rebuffs
the occasional suitor, ambivalent
to homecoming.

Maybe she does eat one,
once in a while. Who can blame her?
He interrupts her weaving, impersonates
a meal, snips at her weft, drowns
out the music. He tries to reduce her,
to veil her senses, as if his shimmy
could ever be enough. Oh, she accepts
what he offers—when she has time.
Spiderlings balloon into the breeze,
transparent, irrelevant to the work.

What if,
when she comes to,
she finds him irresistible after all,
loses her composure?
Isn’t that what he wanted?
You would think he’d have known:
the tattoo on her belly,
the scarlet stain against her
succulent skin.