Two ruined bodies, galena-black, tar-black,
charred flakes of cloth, countenances gone.
No ears, or eyes, or lips. Father, sister, offered
to a god, fat and gorged, that I deplore;
hands folded at the breastbone, as if fire
was a balm that soothed, gave them repose;
no hair to dress, no skin to wash and stroke.
Old moon when I sleep, when I rise, no cave
where it can roost, vacant haze, thread of shine,
me in the starless night,
interlunar, the night through all my joints
and bones diffused, the scorched kernels I gnaw
from the stalk, burrows where I hide, water
seeping from stone, the fox that licks my hand.
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Susan Worsham, “Drowned Persimmons.” (Photograph)
William Kelley Woolfitt chose Susan Worsham’s original photograph to accompany his poem. The poet explains: “‘After Samson Burns…’ reflects my interest in the stories of unnamed figures in historical and sacred texts, such as the sister of Samson’s wife who was offered to him as a consolation prize in the Book of Judges. I see in Worsham’s photograph several echoes of elements in my poem, including fruit(fulness) spoiled, the color black, and water seeping from stone.”