Penitence – Fabrice B. Poussin

File:Murillo Magdalena penitente 1640 Matthiesen Gal.London.JPG ...

Walls of steel and concrete cliffs
a barricade of ice tall as Mont Blanc
hedge upon forest make it impregnable
this fortress for a gentle soul inside
prison to chapters yet to be carved.

Canons take aim across the perilous straight
above the gates cold with the silence of the tomb
her eyes hover under the will of the wardens.

A knock comes to the heavy oak trembling
shaking the last remnants of a flaking past
she shivers beneath the waves of her dress.

Civil war fort for a girl born to be a maiden
refuge to the kind spirit bruised by every moment
block house for a war of infinite blood and tears
she contemplates the motions of another life
the cold penetrates her insides like a blade.

In the penitentiary she erected for her story
safety claims yet another corpse
her veins fill with crystal fragile as glass
the soft satin blueish as the ancient Venus
she stands unattainable ruler of her land.

About the contributor: Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.

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