Strop me twice. Make it hurt down my blue-ice
thighs and across my feet. Rope wound around
my wrists held high, wet anklets slick with slice.
On my pixie puck-curves welts unfurl, bound
from where the belt’s strop-strap struck. Turning screw
stone of my skin a bronze hue, tempered pearl
ochre. They say the devil wore a blue
dress, but any dress will do. You’re wet curl
below, wet at sweat and bruises that glow
on my cheeks. Queen Cliodhona’s grace guiding
each strop-strap slap, each swing of your arm. Wear
me rough, a glamour is upon me. Show
me fire-licked skin. Afterglow. Show me sting,
swung, stung. Own me stone down to my shorthair.
Cliodhona (pronounced like Fiona but with a “cl”) is one of the Tuath Dé Danann (“tribe of gods”) in Irish mythology. A Fairy Queen associated with county Cork, the seashore and waves (the tide at Glandore is still called, “Waves of Cliodhna”). Passionate and violent in nature, tradition says that she abducted and seduced poets and bards of both sexes. The McCarthys and O’Keefes of Cork trace their lineage back to her.