The Levite’s Concubine

When they raped me, they said I was second best.
All along I knew it was him
they fancied, my young husband. Our host
wouldn’t have it. They could take his virgin
daughter instead but not a man who’d shared his house.
My husband, my young husband, wouldn’t hear
of that. He thrust me forward and slammed the door.
I am his second wife. Now he is preparing
to cut my used-up body into twelve equal parts
to send among the tribes of Israel.
They must pay him for his sacrifice. I recall
our wedding day: how his first wife gave me to him,
a far-off look in her eyes, as if she saw
our husband moving further and further away,
a man firmly out of reach, summoning his God.

first published in Some Women (Happenstance Press, 2014), © David Kinloch 2014, from In Search of Dustie-Fute (forthcoming Carcanet, 2017)

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