Negative Space

(Florence, Italy)

As I approach the piazza’s open-air gallery,
Bologna’s Rape of the Sabine Woman
thrusts above quarried stone —

Romulus’s warrior stands dominant
over the crouched Sabine man,
while his woman writhes from the victor’s grip —

flesh giving way where his hands clench,
her expression beseeching an invisible god.
Though the woman’s fate is defined

by the emptiness surrounding her, I recognize
the force of her body’s torque, pushing away
in a snakelike spiral, her soul,
impervious as the stone in which she’s held.

Meredith Kunsa has published poems in many journals including Connecticut Review, Crab Orchard Review, Natural Bridge, Mantis Journal, Poet Lore, and Wisconsin Review, among others. A native Californian, she holds a Masters in Public Administration, and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from California State University, San Diego. After a career as an agent for corporate speakers and trainers in venues around the world, she resides in San Diego.