one day threw off her skin
threw off her hair, declaring
‘Whosoever chooses to love me
chooses to love a bald woman
with bleeding pores.’
Those who came then as her lovers
were small hard-bodied spiders
with dark eyes and an excellent
knowledge of weaving.
They spun her blood into long strands,
and altogether wove millions of red
webs, webs red in the afternoon sun.
‘Now,’ she said, ‘Now I am expertly loved,
and now I am beautiful.’