Kiss of the Spider Woman

After Jerome Rothenberg

When darning, fingers moved
but eyes stared
making shadow cobwebs,
each stitch the way
to make life live
on and on
until

I heard
sea moonlight splinter
into the sound of wings
that roared and rumbled
until a cold howl of wind
over
my roof

turned into night silence
my fingers stilled
then words fall
like slaps

I looked up, looked down
and paid no attention,
I darned, moved fingers
stared shadow cobwebs
stitched the way
to make life live
on and on
until

I heard
moonlight sea
splinter wing sounds
that roared wind and rumbled
a cold howl
over
my roof

and night silence turned,
my fingers stilled
words slapped

But I was ready,
the needle sharp
and I waited
coals hot with chestnuts
and I waited
a sting of hornets stirred
and I waited
turned into thorns
and waited

words slithered in,
the wing of wind,
the howl of moon,
the sea splinter,
to slide over thorns
untouched

but needle stabbed
nouns
chestnuts burned
verbs
hornets stung
adjectives

words howled in the wind
as sea splintered moon
and silence stuck
on thorns

Then I darned
moved fingers
stared shadow cobwebs,
made stitch
life
so lived
on and on
uneventfully

Published in Streetcake