Jul/Aug 2012 Poetry

Rape of the Sabine Woman

by Emma Sovich

Rape of the Sabine Woman

Approach them from the wrong angle,
it's not rape.
                   She is a flailing bride,
as in a Finnish wife-carrying championship.
                   He, triumphant suitor,
his competitor cast to the turbulent floor.

A young pigeon lights on her hand.
It preens when a boy points,
   sleeps when a Frenchman meows
In the noon shade,
           rape does not fit in camera frames.

But catch the woman's face in early sunlight
as she reaches from the Loggia,
            arms crooked as a peony.
You will not be able to disengage her eyes.

His fingers press into her buttocks, clutch
them to his chest. His clenched left hand slips
from her shoulder.
                          She slides in nakedness,
writhing, bare feet suspended near his navel.

Carved from a single block of flawed marble,
they are bound by a vein that thrusts
through his stern back and her long, exposed neck.


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