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LAMENT

 After Jacques-Louis David’s Oath of the Horatii

There was a time when giants ruled the earth

and women were gods, too. But here in this moment

of mortality who, woman, will hold back your heart

from the imminent cliffs of grief? You cry out instead

of speaking, and if you were allowed you’d take the oath

and follow your husband, guard him against the wretched

spell of death like a shadow of black silk unraveling,

like a permanent shadow forged onto the ground

after an atomic blast, your arms outstretched;

in the background a curtain surrenders in the wind.

Beloved woman, twisted with torment

your spinning head cries like a god out of control:

Be brief! Let the weight of your serrated edges

cut this sorrow out of me.

_____________________________________________________________________

Ruben Quesada is the author of Next Extinct Mammal (2011) and Luis
Cernuda: Exiled from the Throne of Night (2008). He is Poetry Editor
for Cobalt Review, Codex Journal and The Cossack Review. His writing
has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, The
Rumpus, and Superstition Review. He teaches English and creative
writing for the performing arts at Eastern Illinois University.

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Lisa Marie Basile received her MFA from The New School. She is the author of Andalucia (Brothel Books.) Two collections are forthcoming: A Decent Voodoo (Cervena Barva) and Triste (Dancing Girl Press). Her work can be seen in La Fovea, PANK, kill author, Pear Noir, and elimae, among others. She is the founding editor of Patasola Press & The Patasola Review and is a managing member of The Poetry Society of New York. By day she works as a background and identity researcher and writer.

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