Tag Archives: religion

Perpetua in Carthage

I, who found the door of death
with light forever
on the other side.

I, Perpetua in Carthage.

I, martyr to dust.

I, traveler with slaves
to beasts.

I, rejecter of the babe
my father brought
aching for my breast,

asking me:

“Do you see the space
where you will not be?”

I who was silent.

He asked me:
“What can this space be called by?”

I, who answered:
“I cannot be called anything
other than what I am.”

I, who dreamt of the serpent
I, who dreamt of my slave sisters
I, who dreamt of fighting my way
through the dark door into the light.

I, who brought Felicity singing
to the wild heifer.

I, whose collarbone caught
the executioner’s knife.

I, who caught his hand
and drew the knife
through my neck.

I, who would not be denied.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Authority

Authority

The web drop weight of it
over your candled early life
strands obscuring horizons
for easy handholds.

Bead by bead
written mysteries
written knee drop
by knee drop
by knee drop.

You kept your torch behind a screen
of filigree and shimmer
and secrets
in the back of a library book.

I knew you later,
unroped, open road,
bus station
by bus station
by bus station.

Cigarette by cigarette, and heartsick secrets
written at the back of matchbooks.

But I was there that night
in that cabless alley
and I saw
the authority you
called down
like archangel lightning.

Copyright Kay Winter

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OctPoWriMo Poem 30 – Illusion

Of everything I lost
I miss the illusion in your voice the least
Your comfort in dead certainty
Your beeswax truths
Your rows of murmuring grandmothers
Your priests hovering in the sanctuary
Over your body
A cluster of black robes
And pale fluttering hands.

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