“The Conqueror Undone By a Tongue” by Susan Plant

A woman had discovered
herself in an epic sense
conquered land.

Arriving home in hunger, with thirst,
her house disagreeably con-
fined her.

This thought pricked:
Must I dwell in a musty dull place?

She put off discontent with her
green hat her brown coat which
serenely swung on the rack in the hall.

She jaunted past the lowing pair to
the spattered kitchen expecting
someone there, but

No one. Still
she heard a grumbling beck from
the icebox and wide-swung
its thick door and saw
an ice-glazed tongue,
her stomach's gory lot,
stiff and pimply, curvaceous.

The tongue was swelling and
pulsed like a heart.
It gurgled, it rumbled, and
it plumply drooled.
It enticed her, repulsed her, entranced
her, she swooned and
it called her up again.

Resisting she drove to the sink,
filled it to the brim and
dipped her hairy headbone in.
She lifted it out dripping and
sucked from the spigot
what dropped like a sickening tune.

She sogging glanced at the
icebox door listing and
listening, broke away; she
jogged to the rack in the hall and
unnoosed her green hat her brown coat.

No thought save escape to be
loosed from the den of the unnatural tongue,
she grasped a low table,
backed to the wall and
braced for the run, then balked.

A note like a ghost fluttered by her,
panting her name, it breathed hope of
a way to untongue the place.

She flung down her green hat her
brown coat as she roved the horrible note
and she read: "Tongue--
shall we mind it? Tonight,
let's divine it." O ghastly call
to cutlery to surfeit!

She'd licked lands large,
she'd barged back home and
gone mad before dining, in
a rusted dank place,
a cave to shrink dry in.

A woman had discovered
herself in an epic sense
conquered land.

I've lived in a lot of states in a bunch of cities; I've worked at a multitude of jobs; I've attended a handful of universities; and I've had a little poetry, a little prose and a little drama published. I've written two novels, Geography of the Body and Retailing or, God, Computers, Rent, and I'm working on my third, a noirish literary effort I call The Big Deal. My husband and two cats live in a Victorian-era ex-rectory in a small Pennsylvania town in the Poconos a couple hours outside N.Y.C. I live with them.