This poem looks at the trauma of rape, via a painting by Tabitha Vevers.


(after Tabitha Vevers)

About human love,
she knew nothing.
I’ll show you he promised.
But first you need legs.

And he held up
a knife

with the sharpest of tips
to the ripeness of her emerald tail.

She danced an involuntary dance
twitching with fear.

he slit

down the muscular length
exposing the bone in its red canal.

She played dead on the rock

dead by the blue lagoon
dead to the ends of her divided tail.

He fell on her, sunk himself deep
into the apex.

Then he fled
on his human legs.

Human love cried the sea,
the sea in her head.

from Europa (Bloodaxe, 2008), Moniza Alvi 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Moniza Alvi in the Poetry Store

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