Briseis

I curse this body, and the breath it needs.
I curse this mouth he kisses in the night,
all hot breath stinking of wine.  I curse
this small belly and its endless need.
Where are my father’s walls, smashed
and ground into dust, my sisters raped
and dragged weeping into long-prowed
ships? I curse these breasts for the pleasure
they give, that suckle no child but him,
that will age and sag in the service
of a stranger whose speech is venom
in my ears.  I curse these legs, so shapely
and weak and most of all I curse these arms,
too womanly to drive a spear point
through his muscled neck and let gurgling
blood spill out upon the bitter land of Troy.

[Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published two chapbooks: My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word and My Father Had Another Eye.]

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