She shared with me a secret photograph
where, in her former wedding dress, she stood,
arms twisted high behind her shoulder blades
and tied together to a pole above.
Thus—barefoot, bent, begowned in virgin white,
roped tight from throat to ankle, breasts ensnared—
—I first mistook her for a sacrifice
condemned to pacify some island god.
Yet when I saw the flame within those eyes,
the mouth’s defiant curl, I understood:
though she was bound alone for primal shores,
she sailed as neither slave nor prisoner
but as the ship itself. A figurehead
of flesh, no mast above, no hull behind.
A goddess of the rigging, canvas-clad,
face to the stinging spray with canines bared.
— From The Chimeriad. 14 August 2017.