“The Virgin” by Yoshitaka Amano
Mother of Monsters
By Sarah ChristianScher
She sits, beatific among the horrors
her smile the gentle curve of a blade’s edge
as she watches them romp.
are all little monsters-
these seem no different to her.
Pudgy horns and stubby wings;
the promise of fight or flight.
Watching them hide beneath her gown and hair,
she thinks of the lonely nights before
of empty rooms,
and pregnant silences.
Now they are her brood;
she needs no man’s sharp spear
to bring her blood children.
These are her babies
their shrieks to fill the spaces in her heart.
Who could ask for more?
By Ellen Webre
She’s not a swan-necked maiden for nothing,
this white skinned starlight, this red lipped
Lilith who haunts every dream you kiss
when lying in the ink of a rhinoceros’ shadow.
You’ve heard her sing nightingale,
waist deep in a pond full of snakes.
Each breast glows pale in every mirror
you hang crosswise from the moon.
She’s sharp fanged toothsome, violet-eyed
sweet, virginal voluptuous and just the type
of woman who will moan your name,
splayed open in some dark forest.
Nothing good can come of this, but you
cannot help but crawl to kiss her feet.
The maiden disrobes her black velvet
and pulls your arms around her waist.
She takes you by the softness between her legs,
and you melt on her tongue, you tear in her teeth.
I did not choose this
By Matthew Maichen
Your hypocrisy incarnates in how
you claim to find nothing more
attractive than a woman whose
voice charms nature,
yet when my friends surround me
you wilt and backstep bewaring.
Am I not beautiful enough to
be worth it?
I jest of course because I only
desire you sometimes; and the
birdsong, the hyena’s laugh, the
Unlike men, they love me. Any
dress I wear is carried on and off
by faithful birds, willingly bending
to my will.
Approaching the river I lower
my hands to find fish lapping
at them like candy. When did I
I once knew an absent village, me
dull and weak to what I am now;
a maiden valued only for marriage
My eons remind me virginity is
strength. I am imperishable; thus
young enough to celebrate
needing no man.
No I do need
you, but you
would be nice,
in all the
Is my smile seductive? Does it
draw you to me? See only its
upturned corners and do not
I do not need you I say as
my palms sweat knowing
I do not know what it is
to be touched.
I am an image eroticized and
romanticized so why can we evoke
neither? Is it such a sin to want
to be touched?
Or should I remain a symbol of
something forever untamed?
Tame me if it means I
will be touched.
I am sorry that I am
neither idol nor icon nor
fearless heartless human
queen of beasts but just
It would be tragic
if you wanted me.
but as is, it is only
With that last pitying
frown, I can no longer
look at your face.
The birds will
See you out.