The Woman

The Woman

By Juan Sacelli

duality woman


who knows what choices we’re called on to make

that mark the faint line between fate and mistake

that fly out of season and lead us to fall

that seem to be reason, yet keep us in thrall  –

but the call of a woman is the sound of the knell

that sounds all the notes in the length of the scale

for when she has called you, you’ll give up your will

                if she calls you and leaves you

                                you’re left like a shell

                if she calls you and wants you

                                you’ve no chance at all

                for you’ll go to the call

                                and you’ll fail

                                                and you’ll fall

                into love, into life

                into death, into hell

for the face of the flesh hides the face of the skull

and a woman is two-faced  –  the false face, the true face

yes, a woman is two-faced

                and so are we all

now the woman who marked me and taught me my soul

was nothing much more than a slip of a girl

whose blood was the tide and whose breath swept the world

or so i believed as i stood at her door

unknown to myself and as cold as a stare

as hot as a fire, as warm as a prayer

and just as i looked at her, knew that i wanted her

knew by the sight of her what i must dare:

there was silk in her skin, there was smoke in her hair

and what i moved in was a thickness of air

full of grace and of sin, full of roses and gin

full of fight and of frenzy and fear.

her breasts were like brands which smoked in my hands

her eyes smoldered thickly, her thighs were a flame

that burned me to fury and pierced me to shame

and i loved the pride in her

the wild night ride in her

the musk scent all over her

as deep and inside of her

i mounted and died in her

swollen and goaded i went  .  .  .

and thought i might never come back  .  .  . 

yet when i returned from the black

her eyes were like coals of remembrance of times

that we’ve passed through but never lived in

her aura etheric and thin

as she told me she knew one last sin  .  .  .

then once more she called to me

ensnared me, enthralled me

though all the old glory was spent

and though i could sense her intent

she sang siren songs to me

spun tales of old wrongs to me

and as she called to me

one more time, one last time, i went.

and as she implored me to hear all her story

her face split before me and sent

my sense down into deepest descent

her skin scarred in agony, showing the nag

of a scrofulous aging, the crone and the hag

her flesh grew putrescent

her features all pustulent

rotting away like the plague

revealing the skull and the scrag

and the nail and the powdering bone

of an ancient cadaver serrated from soul

which to myself seemed but my own

without disguise and now framed in my eyes

like a lust which had met its last mate

or a mummy wrapped ancient in fate  –

all that remained of our love and our hate

and though i know by the nightwind ten thousand such ties

are loosing and binding in troths and in sighs

unto morning and mourning, both equally lies

to have loved or not loved, all equally dies

and life is the crime, and the criminal time

for the face of the flesh hides the face of the skull

and a woman is two-faced  –  the lewd face, the bald face

the new face, the old face  –  the false face, the true face

yes, a woman is two-faced

and so are we all


March 2022 Issue

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