Backstage with Adah (1866) | Geula Geurts

After all, living is but to play a part
-Adah Isaacs Menken


I help her slide into
a flesh colored body stocking—

She will be a naked man
tied to a wild horse

The audience awaits
the goddess

while she sucks
on a cigarette, exhales—

Another husband dissolves
into the backstage air

I hold my breath,
think of her two lifeless

infants. She mumbles:
I am no Magdalene

waiting to kiss the hem of your
garment, then crops

her boy short hair in her
hands & steps into

the light, ridding
herself of the trapping

that is woman—

Geula Geurts is a Dutch born poet living in Jerusalem. She is enrolled in the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rogue Agent, Hermeneutic Chaos, Minerva Rising and the anthology HYSTERIA (Lucky Bastard Press). She works as a Foreign Rights Agent and Editorial Assistant at The Deborah Harris Literary Agency.

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