The Husbands of Willendorf


poem by Natalie Eilbert


Years ago they entered my room on horseback, their speech
like their medallions, heavy on their necks, a dark providence.

In a gunnysack I was carried. A dream of the figurine
woke inside me and I swear I felt a horse close its jaws

for good. I knew winter for its stench of clouds, its welcome
blindfold and gag. Wind was not to blame for the rattling door

the nameless house of betrothal. I was bride to the flies,
the Venus stone a cold baguette on a marble slab:

I refused ration. Tomorrow’s winter, a document
in a chain of corporate threats. The figurine like a page

torn from the god diary, we received its foul monopoly
of image. No scripture was mentioned. A boy paddled

his kayak to a lake edge to be wed, the German sky
stood post and warned A country is made out of too many childhoods

to share a history. Venus of nowhere claimed. An army pounded
the earth and I smelled oil, I smelled her dirt, I smelled fists

numinous as warped violins. Time is what ants disappear
into with their leaf mulch. Nothing returns without our sharpened tools.



Natalie Eilbert