Beware the black widow

Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant – Epictetus


Tangled bodies in marital sheets,

purling into knots of untruths.


A biblical undoing

of warm bodies and cold hearts,

charting a course under your skin

like dogs off the leash on the hunt for weeping flesh.


Tincture of sin, unfolding a lie as you would wet origami;

fingers fumble in your air of discontent,

though these are merely actions put to the sword

after a stolen night of liberty.


To her: I saw it marked on your mouth that night,

lips slit in a complaint of truth.

Your voice grated down my spine

as did your far too comfortable place in my sisters house,

and at the table like you were supposed to be there.


You tend the night with its soft edges and punctures of light.

But the morning with its sharp, hooked truths

wax in your belly as if you’ve been poisoned

(cold comfort for a frigid conscience)



Taxi fare paranoia;

foul breath on arrival,

sweating sex.

Puffs of lies balance like unseen tickets in the air,

wine drips off urgent tongues like the blood of your children.


You stand by your invented tears; prostrations de trop.

Did you think you could dodge a bullet with only pillows on the floor?



In good time,

you will be thrown from your skin

and from the love of your kin

like some vague dislocation of being.

The aqueous nature of lust rolls into lumps of petrified greed –

this is how secondary you are with your

broken words of honour at the altar.


Morals like forked cheese/

Legs a means to an end/

Vows slashed like dead vines.

You retreat like a dying Turk in the foothills of war

the branches that sweep the soil

too powdery for your hands.


You call to mind that we live in a compromised world with so much false currency.



When you saw her face in the moonlight like a hungry lamb,

did you know it was over before you even began?

Peeling open your mouth to speak the language of original sin,

you reek of misguided passion

as you sweat with the weight of your children;

eyes a conduit for sin,

body barreling to her every late night and early morning rush.


But then your son is called to arms

with what shall herald your fall;

its incipience almost comedic had it not been so pathologised.

You are both tramontane; not wanting to be seen by beast or child.


The laws of contrition allow you to walk out of your own life like

an iambic pull of federal bodies

waiting for the sky to split open like a wound;

to feel a rush of truth that will never come.

Your time is up, your waters channeled, your fruit picked.

Each shallow second, dripping deceit and courting memory.


(her old love nodding in his body box)

2 thoughts on “Beware the black widow

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