Sylvia Chong



      when I last had a man
I lost him in the infinite blackness of my hair

he was holding on
      grasping with his greedy hands
when he disappeared
somewhere around my vast hips
      I had sung my siren-song
and he was gone

*       *       *

in the beginning
there was my face-off with God and Adam
I refused to serve His will
I refused to tend the Garden clad only in my hair
I refused to bathe with the animals
I refused to be put on my back

      instead, I sleep with the demons
I travel through mirrors, through night
I fly with the screech owl and the bat
and carry the bodies of babies
in my ragged fingers

*       *       *

--when I slip naked between your sheets
beware that you do not lose your way--

*       *       *

witch that I am,
I seduce your husbands
I kill your newborns
I drive your daughters into the night

*       *       *

you accuse me of these witchcrafts
      (banished me from Eden
when I whispered His name
from my heat into the balmy breeze)

so I live through others
my insides are warm, fiery
to the touch
I wed through adultery
I conceive through murder
I love as you forbid your daughters to do the same
sin   is my life
sin   is my pathway to the world

*       *       *

does this mean I must be exorcised
through your pretty trinkets,
marvelous amulets
      the three angels can do nothing
though I leave of my own free will

I do relish my flight
my creation of so much darkness
to combat the glaring light
--just look into my eyes--
do you see me
do you see through me
do you see at all
but I   see   you

*       *       *

just try to banish me again
just try to keep your loved ones away from me
just try to close the door to my cave
the windows are your vanity
your shame
your longings for purity in blood-covered bodies
I came First
I had the First Man
I danced with the First Cause

*       *       *

      when I last had a man
I swallowed him whole
and he laughed with joy inside my belly

Poem: © Copyright 1993, Sylvia Chong

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