Summer 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 3 Poetry |

Black Widow

This dangler who visits me disguised as agile beauty is death's sweet marionette, an eight-legged, swollen speck— a tiny, black forget-me-not spinning her soundless tune with a luminescent thread. Her husband taps out a code of courtship quite cautiously as he slowly tightropes nearer: pheromones prescribe his destiny, yet he seems a wayward star moving to collide into the sun, which will explode to unfurl a million filaments of light. I watch their dance tonight and see extend through history the sacrificial slant some lives slide down upon—star, spider, man— each body bright, marked for life by an invisible hourglass that's tipped, emptying its sand.

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Photo of Maurya Simon
Maurya Simon’s eleventh volume of poems, La Sirena: A Novella in Verse, has recently been published by Cloudbank Books. Her earlier volume, The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems, 1980–2016 (Red Hen Press, 2018), was awarded the 2019 Gold Medal in Poetry by the Independent Book Publishers Association. Simon’s other awards include a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship (Bangalore, South India), an NEA Fellowship in Poetry, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award and Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She currently serves as Professor Emerita and Professor of the Graduate Division at the University of California, Riverside, and lives in the Angeles National Forest in Southern California.

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This dangler who visits me disguised as agile beauty is death's sweet marionette, an eight-legged, swollen speck— a tiny, black forget-me-not spinning her soundless tune with a luminescent thread. Her […]

Los Angeles, Fin de siècle

By Maurya Simon

This dangler who visits me disguised as agile beauty is death's sweet marionette, an eight-legged, swollen speck— a tiny, black forget-me-not spinning her soundless tune with a luminescent thread. Her […]

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