Viewing the Dead
Orpheus looked at his dead wife and wept
Parts of her arm were bruised almost to black –
her rapist twisted it behind her back
before she broke a way. He thought she slept
when he first saw her, but – a streak of red
that quickly turned to purple on her thigh
from snakebite, and one closed, one open eye
staring and venom swollen. She was dead
and grew more clearly dead the more he’d look
and look away and then look back again.
As she grew stiff, her mouth, as if in pain,
drew back across her teeth. Decay then took
all beauty from her, Yet he knew his art
could give it back, would tear it from his heart.