Size / / /

She is weak at first,

then she is the shark,

ever in motion to stay alive.

Better to live on her feet

than on her knees.

The smells she's lost,

dill & oleander,

river mist,

another world ago,

things the native

wouldn't grasp.

When she is well,

he gives her brush and palette.

She paints him sideways

so his wings look like a helmet.

Art talks a good game,

but he breaks her fingers anyway,

stretches the bones to imitate his own,

binds her hands until they heal.

When this is done,

when she is beautiful,

he gifts her with his oily sex.

For her, the shadows overflow

and it doesn't get light

until sunset.

The native mumbles

what is about her

on his mind,

to her, just to her

never sure if she hears

and understands

or if so, cares.

Marge Ballif Simon free lances as a writer-poet-illustrator for genre and mainstream publications such as Nebula Awards 32, Strange Horizons, Flashquake, Space & Time, Dreams & Nightmares, Aoife’s Kiss, Dark Regions, Fantasy Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine, EOTU, Tales of the Unanticipated. She has illustrated three Stoker award collections. Her illustrated poetry collection, “Artist of Antithesis” was a Stoker finalist in 2004.
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