By | 1 May 2019

Most paintings portray you
as a placid woman bearing a salver,
as if you were offering cupcakes,
rather than the two breasts
that were sheared from your body.

If there is anguish, it’s half-hearted.
If there is blood, it’s a thimbleful.
Such feeble depictions of brutal revenge.

Some say you were then rolled
over broken pottery and scorching coals.
Another version sent you to the stake.
But does the method really matter?
It’s enough to learn you were tortured for saying, “No”.

They held you down for him and raped you for him.
They tied your wrists for him and cut off your breasts for him.
They stoked the tinder for him and burned you for him.

All the while he kept his gaze on the small fire that you made.

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