Salome Dances the Seven Veils, Asks for the Head of a Baptist in Return
someone once told me
A MAN WILL MOVE WITH HIS MIND
BUT A WOMAN MUST MOVE WITH HER BODY
it makes sense [to me]
us heavy-limbed mutes
us kid-gloved air
us beautiful wrapped
us whirling and ribboned and dappled [and hollow]
my father wrings his hands
around my neck and strokes
the fur of my throat [his fingers]
weave themselves through the fronds
of my voice he plucks a tune:
and the seams in me appear,
perforations of ox-blood
a guide to unravelment, a map of spool
a song to undo me [again and again]
Actually, the name Salome comes from the word Shalom.
Which means peace, an odd name to gift a vessel for blood,
But still, no woman is a weapon [at birth].
Just as nothing is sharp until it is sharpened.
I like to think I came into this world soft and pliable,
A window flung open [for light to pour through].
mother says ask for his head on a silver platter
[she does not specify which He]
A holy man is a holy man is a holy man.
Beard, Breath, [Tongue].
They are all the same.
No words of a Savior are news to a Woman.
No words of a resurrection sound gospel[-enough]
when you are both the Crucifixion and the Crowd.
Later, the man who will go on to popularize this moment in history is
Oscar Wilde. He will portray Salome as a femme fatale, fatality as human being, a woman conscious the cliffs in her, and the lure of a man along a razor-edge. Salome will be as the knife that beheaded the Baptist. This, of course, is customary. Women are constantly used in such a way, as props, as projections,
As reasons for why men move or live or die, too much of herself to save.
(give a girl half your kingdom and watch it set
watch a fault line rip open through the city square
watch it dilate in purple-gold flame
watch it sink past the horizon
this gift, this token of your pleasure