The day that I met Jezebel

The day that I met Jezebel,

I was a child in Naboth’s vineyard,

Starved and thirsted,

Sack-clothed and sasquatched

When her hand shot out to beckon me,


I was poor, but was not blind,

My own two, cataract-covered eyes would see

The evil that had lurked inside

Leeched and feasted behind

The silk that wrapped around her neck,


The pagan, dirt god she believed in

Before my father passed, he told me

Stories of the mad woman,

Drunk inside some pseudo-power

Oxen-feasting, snakeskin-wearing, prophet-killing


Jezebel, the new verb for destruction,

For when the empires burst in flames,

The men entrenched in Yahweh’s gospel

lynched and stoned and drowned and flayed,

It would be by her cruel command, those wicked hands


The ones that beckon me right now,

In the garden her husband had sorely envied,

It was her hand that shot out to my father

It was her hand that declared him a sinner

When, in my starving dreams, I’d see him look out heaven’s gate


To watch over me. Ahab’s kingdom now, forever.

Yet, inside my scarcity, I sympathize

With the woman who claims herself to be the queen

Whose fist is iron-welded, eyes cold and stiff as stone

Who will, in history, fall flat to the names of much more powerful men


Who will fall under the treachery and sharpness of the author’s pen,

Who will, like the women who came before her, be deemed insignificant

In vanity, in royalty, in sex. When in reality, all she wanted

was power when all the women who married kings were granted

Neglect. When all she wanted was to cut the tongue of the prophet


Who killed her god. When all she wanted was to show

The sacrifice that she would take, that she would

Kill a man to show her husband love. To retrieve the throne

That belonged to her son, even if that means she would be

Scorned. She would be torn apart in retrospect. All she wanted


Was to dive into the fangs of dogs when her careful empire

Crumbled into dirt and dust to which our god would tell her

She belonged. And if she had burst to flames herself,

or be lynched or drowned or stoned,

It would still be the same distasteful epitaph written on her stone.


So, now, her hand, it beckons me and I wonder what it has to say.

It blooms open, like a flower, and contains the purple skin of grapes.

I look up at her and she doesn’t say a word,

Only nods, then wipes her hands, then walks away.

And I feed myself, wondering what the verb for forgiveness is.

What are you looking for?