2. A Martyr (from The Baudelaire Variations)

Sandra Simonds

In the middle of a pool of falcons, I am voluptuous
 but lame. And marbles. And more
marbles on the table. I wear a rose
dress perfumed with lament.

In this room, I have hurt myself so I become
dangerous, fatal and even the mourner’s bouquet
cannot save my wolf head.

I am a cadaver but what do I do with it?
I am dead labor but what do I do with it?
It’s like having blood but no prey.

My visions are pale gold shadows
over my eyes which make my head just ache
and ache like some sort of historic idiot.

When night falls, I rest on this table
and think about the white skin of revulsion.
Oh on this bed, I am the secretary
of abandonment. A rosary and coins

of gold and the leg, the damned blue leg! — 
there can be no diamond skulls
in the world after all.

I am the portrait of my own provocations
and what strange feelings of strangeness
I have felt being here on this table.

Oh I am elegant! But irritated.
Everyone should desire me!
Respond to me, Felix. Once you called me deranged
and impure but I am the world
and I am that strange creature

inside of you, this mysterious
table, hand and the constant
eyeball of death.


Ladowich Magazine is available in the Apple Newsstand — https://t.co/bhbBwDr0F9 — offering just enough poetry and one longread a month. This poem is part of Sandra Simonds’s Baudelaire Variations, a series of which appear as the featured section in issue seven, arriving today.

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