the tribe was broken
at last we killed the roaches.
mama and me. she sprayed,
i swept the ceiling and they fell
dying onto our shoulders, in our hair
covering us with red. the tribe was broken,
the cooking pots were ours again
and we were glad, such cleanliness was grace
when i was twelve. only for a few nights,
and then not much, my dreams were blood
my hands were blades and it was murder murder
all over the place.
At Last We Killed The Roaches, Lucille Clifton
image via 50 watts: h. c. andersen, medusa, agnete lind picture book, 1854
In an 1833 letter about da Vinci’s “Medusa” Andersen wrote:
The head had something magic about it that attracted me, the foam of the abyss in its most beautiful form; it is hell that has created a Madonna head, the warm poison streaming out of her mouth; the serpent’s hair is moving while the beholder becomes petrified.