Marta Ferguson

Femme Fatale

   after Judith Shea's Shield, 1989

Narrow, weathered bronze,
sheath dress hollow over
an unseen woman's form.

It once rose from the sculpture
garden out behind the museum
like a jack-in-the-pulpit,
spathe protecting its fertile
spadix, a profusion of bloom
contained until its dangerous
berries burst forth, pulpy and red
as Marilyn's lips. Toxic without
careful handling.

As if Shea had only rendered
beauty's first stage.
Left us to wonder
at its fruiting body.

Marta Ferguson

MARTA FERGUSON is the co-editor of Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books (Minor Arcana Press, 2014) and the author of Mustang Sally Pays Her Debt to Wilson Pickett (Main Street Rag, 2005). She is the sole proprietor of Wordhound Writing & Editing Services, LLC (

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