by Kaitlin Cadamore
My beauty, my beast //
The mouth of a sailor. The sting of a bee. Honey-rotten blood seeping through cracks of gold, constantly howling,
The singing, head thrown back like a hallelujah. It’s more than just a songbird, it’s the rhythm. The thump-thump-thump, the chorus and the refraining of putting my own hands around your throat. The love me tender, the love me holy, the love me love me love me, please I’m begging,
The crash of the lamp hitting the wall. The crackle of the white light behind closed eyes. Closed eyes, squeezed shut because God knows if I saw the look on your face, the fire on your lips and the shadow on your cheeks, I’d shatter too,
I couldn’t afford to. Take what’s left but don’t abuse what’s already broken. Take and take. Take a deep breath. It’s me, he says, I’m here honey,
And suddenly I remember, I shudder, I snap back, and my heart, like a wounded dove, chirps for the missing pieces,
I hold my hands out, wait for him to take my broken pieces and slice open his skin, but instead he takes them as his own, molds them, fires them up inside kiln-set eyes and I melt, poured into the place where his broken pieces are missing, and together we harden, together we fit, together we learn to love,
Love both parts of myself; the beauty and the beast.
The breathless and sunburnt Lilith with dirt beneath her nails strikes me hard across the face –
Why am I bruising my knees on marble floor rather than packed earth?
It may be cool and smooth but it’s crushing my nerves, and the garden path may be studded with gravel but it toughens the skin better than ice ever will.
Why do I gaze at the crown of thorns placed just so atop a dead man’s head while one of my own tightens around my still-living neck, pricking and scraping, drawing life by the minute?
Five loaves and two fish are filling but do nothing to fill the knowledge-hungry thirst that our souls entwined when we pick the forbidden apple.
“nourish this soil, for it is my body”, she says, “and dance in the rain, for it is my blood. Bite the hand that feeds you. Be wary of the medicines of a man who poisoned it all from the beginning.”
“now go,” she says, “doom the men, eat the damned apple and then devour them too, with all the mercy that they show to those who dare learn. Go. Go. And bring your spade.
For god created mean
But woman created revolution.
We are still tornadoes //
Sometimes I think of my crime, sometimes I think of my punishment, and then I think that they’re one in the same.
Murder was never seen as holy but sacrifice was, and isn’t that just what I wanted?
There was never any blood on my hands, just a mess of cherry pulp I still scrape from under my nails.
My appetite goes beyond me, it thirsts for things it can never have, it buries itself in my bones until they ache,
I have no handle on things, I have no point, yet I cut to the edge, I cut down the middle, juice flows between my fingers and god I wish it was blood, god I wish it were you,
We are still tornadoes, on the very of undone, one already destroying valleys of flesh, the other destroying herself, a name brand that stayed even when she scrubbed it off,
This perfume was never something I asked for, the scent of what you’d done to me, the curling of my stomach while I finished you off, warmth seeping between my lips, my thighs, something no matter how many times I shower something I feel.
We are still tornadoes and I am still a drag.