Manticore, Cassandra, and Sisters

by Roxanne Broda-Blake



the swaggerhound, laced in rusty sweat

slathers out the story

of the manticore’s destruction


her dead eternal teeth clatter against his

fulgid ginger chesthair

they samsoning it silently


rows of young mewlings

gaze up at him nudely

small downy penises lapping the dust floor


they sit with budding rubber legs folded

and gasp at his hands miming

her magenta blood shower


these youngling bloodbabies

so swallowed by visions of their glory-gory



their turgid eyes miss the hard black

section of calf

the wound hot and gasping for new skin


this debit she chews

sitting sphinxy content

eavesdropping with her keen red-tufted



a spit-smoking shark turns outside the hut

she tilts her feline face upward to sniff

a pity, the meat will be so




The sun

tried to give me permission

“to be a dark thing.”

In his effulgent hands outfolding

I saw supplicance.

His sight sought voidance.


I took his eyes because his bright head

grew too large to trap them.


I fled to Troy and burned it down

with my fresh lazer face.

Elysium’s more flammable corners

are looking vulnerable.


I defied the sun and I deify gravity.


Agamemnon’s sex dungeon makes

me an iridescent moth, shining stake between my breasts.

A tireless capture, dedicated and delicately still.

I’ll make you cum so hard you’re powerless to shut your eyes –

the Last Mistake of the conquesting King.


I feel the moon rise beyond my crisp coal eyes.

She whispers that the First Witch will cast me to ashes

and I’ll  the First Dragon.


I hoard prophecy like gold

the flicker of flint in my scales.

Agammemnon coats me in tinder blindly.

Revenge the Witch is closer now

carrying the match.



I spent summers a young panther.

My bones cramped themselves thick

girding steel snakes up my calves.


We feel a thick moss, we mash


our feet into paws, so tensed

by youthful humors.


She was so small growing up

that rabbitflesh you feel

lurking elusive far below the fur

made clear and bright and girlchild-



Our long bones later trunking out

Amazonian –

cloudy, cloying, clammy –

and ubermutant feline, lupine,




we flustered the woods

and emerged

with our shins banded red.


Roxanne Broda-Blake is a bread-baking, coffee-slinging, weight-lifting winter creature in Upstate New York, where she lives with her cat and boyfriend. She runs a poetry blog called Mossly Log with her two best friends.

Photo credit: Kelly via Flickr, All Creative Commons

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