Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"The Devil's Whore"

(Mantis Religiosa)

Nothing could have prepared us
for that first day of class:
our libidos impaled suddenly
by a film of copulating mantises
behind a Chinese elm,

the female’s slender body
with wings like leaves,
rotating head and bulging eyes.
We soon discovered the thorax of love,
how her posture of praying

and quivering foreplay
turned to a quick thrust of spiny forelegs,
locking him in a cloak of bug lust.
We could not help but wonder
what drew him to her

for his one flight of ecstasy,
how he could continue to mate
long after his head was devoured
by her biting mandibles.
The Devil’s Whore, the teacher called her.

No one asked the question,
and we filed quietly out of the room.
The girls, whispering,
appeared to sway down the hall
while we, bug-eyed, quickly passed them. 


“The Devil's Whore” was originally published in Great River Review.

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