La Brea Woman

by heytherewildflower


La Brea Woman

The excavator gazing upon her skull
thinks not of death, but of treasure;
a tale for whom nothing pleasures.

Why put up with the insults of life?
The mad lover begets a mad lover;
predator makes play of predator.

This is the cycle of the tarpits:
rest, devour, die, be eaten, wake.

She curls her lip, and, revealing the ectopic
starlit tooth, snarls at his quavering body.

The body has a fearful look and hormonal stink
she associates with eminent alleviation, bliss.

She dreams of sucking down his teardrop kidney
from a sweet summer cornhusk. His sunken belly,
never the vessel, but sustenance nonetheless.

She remembers the first man who gazed upon her flesh
ensconced skull looking not to love, a look to steal.

Woman of the tar and of the angels
through whose socket groans an ocean;
and with ear to yellow, cranial shell,
transmits the voice of nameless jezebel.

A skeleton they do not want us to see…
intent for Yorick not to be or not to be.

The girl with the saber tooth
in the lady’s chamber of tar,
grinning skull painted ear to ear,
to kiss the cavity which belches dirt
without recollecting (or reckoning)

The dust of hair, mud of skin —
shivering in her skin of grief,
and decomposing cats.

—The Poisoning—

She traveled far by foot from her home, the scorpion tree.
crouched over the blue sea stone creature with its sticky
skin and dark eyes, sticky eyes and yellow racing stripes.

She bends over her friend’s blue stone head and stokes his yellow stripes
with the spine of an unsheathed dart, an extension of her fingertip…

She drags the tip across his slick back.
The harvest of poison is a nonviolent act.


A traveler from scorpion tree, once a woman, evolved
into a predator. On the record, none predated her.

She learned to unbuckle from his fingers, to slip from his arms into sleep.
When she woke, her tooth stung. Thick spittle stuck in the throat.

From his rib, she carved a knife, from his shin, a scythe,
and prayed never to wake again, a woman.


What begins with blood proceeds with silence…

She shot from the grass with the power of her mouth, her breath, the divine tooth. But, outnumbered up close, they used her own weapons against her:

Smashed her skull with an ax fashioned from the pelvis of her dead lover.
She received the burial of hunters: body tossed into the pit with elders,
mothers. Sabertooth sisters sleeping with each other’s hungers.