Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Arachne

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Arachne

Article excerpt

I pull the spider webs from my belly and legs,

thick and white and sticky.

They congeal on my fingers, and in the dark bedroom,

the thin morning light falls on my breasts

and black milk streams out of my nipples.

He will not desire me, I think,

he who brews tea and teaches the foreign

children our language.

I must leave him in the bedroom

where blankets cover the floor like eyelids.

Outside at a picnic table sits a man

who says he will go to prison in Denver.

I tell him I will bring him tomatoes, red

as his stoned eyes, as the blood he spilled.

I tried to hang myself

and Athena turned my rope to silken thread.

I carried the captured sun in a clay bowl

and brought sunrise to America.

I am the trickster, the grandmother, the creator,

the woman in love.

My milk is as black as the womb that fed me,

as the flies in my belly.

He still sleeps.

I keep feeding the men who never sleep,

who will spend their lives in cells,

but my body longs for the teacher,

for the threads of my hands to weave

him a road to traverse to me. …

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