Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Look At It This Way; The Hand That Feeds

Look At It This Way; The Hand That Feeds
Photograph via Flickr by zeevveez
Look At It This Way

Delilah was a Philistine,
             Samson. You were a man
                          dedicated to being the end of her

kind. So when she curved her body
             around yours, you were smart
                          to lie, the way it is always

smart to lie to someone you love.
             And when you woke tied in vines,
                          don’t pretend you didn’t know

why. You lied because you
             understood a woman’s loyalty.
                          But she asked again

and again with her mouth,
             with her body, and you were a man.
                          You told her what she wanted

to hear, fell asleep with your head
             on her knees like a child in prayer.
                         Samson, you knew what morning

would bring. Don’t tell me
             you didn’t. You woke with your
                          head shaved, with God

gone and Delilah watching you
             with the look of a woman
                         who knew the moment you fell

in love with her that you were
             destined to destroy her.

The Hand That Feeds

When you came to town, I couldn’t look
away. I sat at your feet, my hair spilling

across them, and broke a jar of oil
against the ground. It has always been

my way to make the grand gesture,
to freely give my wine and worship.

But my sister shows her love in quiet
ways, with the work of her hands,

the time she spends over a hot stove,
burning the soft skin of her forearms,

with the sweat that soaks her dress
as she feeds you, serves you.

She couldn’t resist asking why
you let me leave her to work alone,

as if she too didn’t wish to be on the floor
before you. I was guilty

when you rebuked her.
You preferred my open infatuation

to her small, solid offering
of everything she knew. I watched

you bite into the gristle of the meat
she gave, tear it with your teeth.

I watched her dip your bread
into honey like a baptism.

If I had known then, I’d have told
her Martha, he’ll raise the dead
for you. He’ll eat your sins.