Excavation, by Kathryn Paul
Once revered, pedestal’d, then pursued,
reviled, forsaken: her mound
beneath this mound, uncovered.
Faceless, she is all pendulous
of belly, ponderous of thigh.
Her arms drape bursting breasts
belonging to no man. Her swollen
labia could birth a legion
or devour one. We were every
one of us Venus, warm
in your palm, so easily cradled, so easily
discarded. You bury us, abandoned,
then excavate, display, catalog our ruin.
Once nubile, we now cradle
sagging bellies on our laps like the children
we lost and bore and lost again.
We grieve, rejoice--
grieve. We bleed
but do not die. Sometimes
Kathryn Paul has lived in Seattle longer than she has lived anywhere else. She is a survivor of many things, including cancer and downsizing. Her work has appeared or will soon appear in Hospital Drive; Ekphrasis; Lunch Ticket; Words Dance; The Fem; and Stirring: A Literary Collection.
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