Original Idols


            After Ercole Drei's sculpture Eva e il serpente


This woman is no serpent's sucker.

You can tell by the plane of her stomach

she's nobody's mother.

This woman offers her lips to him

because she wants them more

                                                than bee bitten.


And her indifference to her own nakedness?

It's never been different

especially not now

when her body's been shared

thousands of times over sixty-six centuries.

With her right hand she opens

                                                his length

turns his green and gold corpse

into slippers, his head, a broach, she runs

a chain through his eyes. 


Though I can tell that, like me,

she's only pretending to fit in

to a place where she doesn't

have a permanent address.

                                                She flays him.

She flies him. I practice the look in her eyes.

Look how she wears him.

Sarah Wetzel is the author of River Electric with Light, which won the AROHO Poetry Publication Prize and was published by Red Hen Press in 2015, and Bathsheba Transatlantic, which won the Philip Levine Prize and was published in 2010. A PhD student in Comparative Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York, Sarah also teaches creative writing at The American University of Rome. You can read some of her work at www.sarahwetzel.com.