Like Judith

by Marci G. Jaffer

She mulls over the blurred recollection

his eyes dark and starless

his hands like the cold metal of a vault

caressing scars along the small of her back, raised and forgotten (never)

her spirit hovers in crisis…




will she ponder the divine, the notion of eternal beauty, an approving God

the gilded path to truth



his fingertips tickling the inside of her fleshy thighs beneath a dress of crimson red

stiff with age

she sighs within: My God, My God, My…


She has forgotten art, sans Caravaggio’s, Judith Beheading Holofernes

like Judith—she is capable, even cunning


forgotten the right words

colors of consciousness-muted

his mouth pressed into her neck on an empty corner

under a streetlamp, raindrops trapped in its dull glow

he is the hurricane that wakes her and collapses her 

in disarray

her daily discourse replete with flowery similes and bold metaphors

no one would ever guess…

the storm beneath


his hands pulling on the delicate lace–panties like tissue paper

        squeezing her legs closed


in the lightening an image of Judith revealed


she takes hold of his hair

repulsed empowered ambivalent disgusted 

slay save escape…


bloody lips parted in awe

 the sky opens

                she inhales the rain