Normally, Inquisitorial tribunals were supposed to hear witness testimony
against the accused and base any verdict upon such testimony, but in this case
the only witness called was the accused herself… In the end, Cauchon would
convict her on the cross-dressing charge.
—Joan of Arc, a brief biography
The voices always stood off to one side
and when I turned to look at the light head on
it swerved out of vision at the last second, blinding.
You say I’m mad because I cut my hair short,
wore amour into battle—yet the king before
believed he was made of glass, had iron rods
sewn into his clothes so he wouldn’t break.
You want me to kneel before you and dial
the precise combination for femininity—
drape my virginity in white, ravel out my hair
and let you climb until you reach satisfaction.
Listen: before the next feast you will burn
my body three times, sweep my bones
into a sack and hold it under running water.
Listen: tomorrow lightning will tattoo its image
across the executioner’s chest. In every dream
you will wander lost in a landscape of nightmare
This selection comes from Lori Lamothe’s chapbook Diary in Irregular Ink, available from ELJ Publications. Purchase your copy here!
Lori Lamothe’s poetry has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Blackbird, CALYX, cream city review, Emerge Literary Journal, Seattle Review, Stone Highway Review, Third Coast, and other magazines. She is the author a full-length collection, Trace Elements (Aldrich Press), and of two other chapbooks, Camera Obscura (Finishing Line Press) and Ouija in Suburbia (dancing girl press, forthcoming 2015).
Marika von Zellen has a BA in English and Creative Writing from Cornell College (no, not the one in Ithaca). She’s had poetry and fiction published in Open Field, Temporary Infinity, The Grin City Monthly, and the anthology Rock & Roll Saved My Soul. As an Editorial Assistant for Sundress, she’s copy-edited the book Picture Dictionary (2014); as a freelance editor she copy-edited the photography book Face It (2013). In the summer of 2012, she attended the Grin City Collective Artist Residency in Iowa. Besides writing, she enjoys theoretical physics, playing piano, ghost-hunting, climbing trees, and drinking good Czech beer. She’s also a scholar of Lewis Carroll.
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