[from Alan Dugan's Poems Seven: New and Complete Poetry, Seven Stories, 2001]
Perverse Explanation for Mutilated Statuary
Her hair was made of poisonous snakes
and her mouth was an open scream,
so when they put their pricks in it
they had the feeling of having come
into nothing at all but a scream,
and the feeling of having been stung
all over. Then, as her teeth closed,
and they opened their eyes to stare,
they turned dead white and froze.
How else did they get there,
set up around Medusa's crypt,
those white statues of sound
young men with the missing pricks,
or with fig leaves over the wound?