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The following poem contains stark
anatomical content; reader discretion
is advised. For the record, I’d also
like to iterate that what you’re about
to read (or ignore) sourced from a
joyful conversation across time
zones. For our 21st century ability
to engage and inspire one another
virtually, I am most grateful.


I am not your Torquemada
dipsy dancer on black velvet
who, with lips like swollen
vulva, swaying hips by laws
of church and God, or by their
breakage grind you into dust
and keep you on the straight
and narrow, flagellating with
my tongue and other flailing
parts when you are not. So
what care I if faithful or obedient
to Nature’s laws and hunger’s
craw are you? We are not
wed. We are not dead. And if
your curiosity of what I say
and do is limited to grand
inquisitor, absent of heart,
then torturous I’m sure you’ll
find my innocence inspiring
my thrust of head and pound
of cleated heels clichéed, my
words they’ll sound to you
like castanets rat-tatting,
short on talent, maybe so
but lively with ferocity,
ecstatic with velocity
and nothing much in how
you might retaliate will stop
what we came here to activate,
so might as well just take
your dreary instruments,
your whips of lead and
sorrowing and find some
other maiden head whose
iron grip on feeling bad
more closely matches
yours. Olé!


Tomás de Torquemada was a 15th century Dominican friar and considered to be Spain’s first Grand Inquisitor.

© Elaine Stirling, 2013
–“El Jaleo”, painting by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)