She doesn't know King David watches,
doesn't know his lust — blind
to her virtue, her marriage.
I serve this most beautiful of women,
make the water warm, the soap fragrant.
I pour sweet oil between her breasts,
watch it drip on thighs and belly.
She is wed to Uriah, away at war,
but she’s lonely for men's praise,
looks often in the basin
to measure her own beauty.
I fear the king's desire. Their eyes meet,
and I know his will is hers as well.
God will smite them in their coupling.
What will become of me who keeps
their secrets? Are my loyalties to king
or God or to my mistress whom I love
as David loves her, as Uriah loves her.
My secrets must remain more secret still.
Sarah Russell has returned to poetry after a career teaching, writing and editing academic prose. Her work has been published in Kentucky Review, Red River Review, Ekphrastic Review, Misfit Magazine, and Psaltery and Lyre, among other print and online journals and anthologies. She has won awards from Goodreads, Poetry Nook, and is a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee. She blogs at https://SarahRussellPoetry.net.
The Ekphrastic Review
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