Michael H. Levin: Poems and Prose
His problem was women, the
rabbis wrote later: seduction, betrayal,
snaky worming towards secrets.
Women, and borders --
lands where dwelt Others
no man should pursue.
His loves all were Gentile, they noted: ripe thighs
of Timrath, of Gaza; the Philistine princess
they sought to derate. In service to morals they
bleached out his lameness, his vast overcomings, this
riddler and teaser whose rage masked belief. They
skirted his violence – made bland
ripping lions, killing hundreds with jawbones,
tumbling stone gates on assassins in wait. Judging
is quick, though justice moves slowly. His flaws were god
weapons: A hot-eyed playfulness. The fierce
roving glance that leaped every boundary,
reveled in vengeance.
Let scribes sheepskin their worst.
His tale roars liberating passion
not a poisoned female curse.
Version first published in The Raven's Perch (April 12, 2021)