by Shannon Phillips
They called it a rape, those European artisans.
They don’t know that he decorated with cobwebs and vertigo,
burlap shadows and suffering, tapestries beaded with broken ribcages,
hallways of parched throat.
They don’t know the descent into a cavern of ripe blood vessels
glinting like stained glass, burnt quartz,
They don’t know he made me
stay with a kiss, a
mouth of sour jewelry,
They don’t know the truth of their bone-white Queen;
They don’t know I let them
call it a rape
so that I remain my mother’s good daughter,
and my husband remains unaware
that it wasn’t the seeds.
Shannon Phillips has an MFA in creative writing from California State University, Long Beach. Her work has been published in Pearl, Verdad, Rectangle, and RipRap, where this poem first appeared. In 2010, she placed second in Beyond Baroque’s First Ever Poetry Contest. Currently, she edits Carnival, an online literary magazine.