02 October 2015

Salome: Dear Head

Matthew 14:1-12

Other girls
would ask for clothes,
the latest fashion,
pretty little things.
I am not other girls.

Other girls
would ask for riches,
to spend their hearts out
and live comfortably.
I am not other girls.

Other girls
would ask for freedom
to choose the one they love,
a fine, handsome fellow.
I am not other girls.

I ask not for fashion
or glittery glamorous things.
I ask for a head on a plate.
I ask not for money
and limitless spending.
I ask for a head on a plate.
I ask not for love
and a fine, handsome fellow.
I ask for a head on a plate.

And now
as I look into your wide dead eyes
and your blood stains my fingers
and I hear your warning voice no more
I wonder:
why
was I not like other girls?

___________________________________________

[2. June 2013]

This was a five-minute write... though the idea (with the "not other girls") was formed in my head before falling asleep at around 3 a.m. last night... (staying up late can be really inspiring. My parents won't believe me though haha)

Salome is the girl who asked for John the Baptist's head. There are all sorts of legends surrounding that (I heard of one where apparently she "liked" him but he didn't like her and her revenge was getting his head.. or something..) but what actually happened is that she followed her mother's orders and got the head for her mother. So it was actually her mother asking for revenge.

At first I was going for a sort of defiant "I am not like that, I'm better and less superficial" thing, but in the end twisted it around to her becoming more self-critical, thinking twice about her choices. Sometimes doing something that seems brave / unusual / "badass" doesn't really bring you anything. Salome could have asked for anything - but she asked for a head. What do you want to do with a head?? Not to mention it's sort of disgusting.
Right now I'm picturing her bringing said head into a nice pink frilly lacy princess room. Uargh what a contrast!

The "sister poem" to this one is Herodias.

Picture by Gustave Moreau

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