The Lady and Hell by Daire Lynch

Menace Attracts
by Aideen Henry

Irresistible even when cloaked,
the raw meat of it, the metal tang
of its oozing marbled flesh, the crack
of sinew whipping across bone,
the crush clinch of muscle as it bears down;
the purity of its chaste fury.

If you could topple it, subvert,
uncouple it from its intent, reach in
to touch its quivering fillet.

Harness it, turn each clout
to a spanner-knuckled neck hold,
its fingertips cradle your occiputs,
slender thumbs fan over your windpipe,
both torsos are sweat slicked, tumescent lips protuberant,
foreheads oppose sounding the timber bok of bone on bone,
you stand like two lathered fighters, in the embrace pause of a final round.

Encircle it with your arms, legs and spine, curled like a brittle leaf around a maggot, absorb its flailing elbows and hoofs, ride out its bucks and back-arching throws,
yield with it into each toss until finally it tires,
fists unclench, fingers interlock,
it lets you be,
with it.