After Happily Ever After Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Her Husband

After Botero’s Leda

When whatever happened to her had happened,
from looking at her thawed face,
softened, a touch self-satisfied, he couldn’t
exactly call it rape, had to make
himself remember, whatever got written
later, he was the first—she loved him
with all his pomp and posture, all his fol de rol
and loved him best. He had to say, instead
of flog her, a prayerful sentence on the will
of Gods. But when the towers flamed inside
his daughter’s eyes and when they dragged the corpse
around the city wall, and on the day of the last horse,
he’d say aloud and then repeat in court again,
she was his wife, the kids he couldn’t claim.


October 2003 2River