Beautiful Woman

after Vashti of Persia

It had been
A long time coming. The drink
Spilled fast, and men’s beards grew heavy
On their chests. The musicians
Had gone home, all broken strings
And red fingers, their pockets
Tinkling like cymbals. And still
You roared on, clapped your advisors
Hearty on their sleep-sloped velvet shoulders.
I heard my name. The idea took whole minutes
To push from your wine-loose lips.
I was summoned. “Beautiful,” you bubbled.
“Beautiful, beautiful

In the room of my mind I packed
My slippers, my gold-embroidered robe,
“I want to show—everyone—“
a heavy traveling cloak,
“Just how beautiful—“
the silver knife from my mother,
“you are.”
I counted silently on one hand the servants
Who would leave with me,
Took one long breath
And lifted my eyes.

photograph by DeviantArt user EnglishTeaLeaf


Anonymous said...

where do you get your ideas? You help the reader experience distant exotic realms - bedouins or ?

Kate Horowitz said...

There is no answer to this that won't seem corny, pretentious, or both. The short answer: reading. The long answer: finding an interesting moment, sensation or character in literature, history, or life, and pursuing it in books and on the internet until I can see it clearly. I rarely write a poem without doing some research first.

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