Julia Pastrana appears isolated in warm light (A Dramatic Poem) H Houghton Poetry

local_library Julia Pastrana appears isolated in warm light (A Dramatic Poem)

by H Houghton

Published in Issue No. 290 ~ July, 2021


My boy

My Boy

That I….couldn’t –


I couldn’t save.

I was an artifact.


My duty

Mine to carry

Mine adorned

With the blood diamonds

and the choking ribbons

and the satins sewn by baby hands

Was my body a vessel?

Even love,

if it was love,

was a cold, Hard bed

stained with dried blood and

dirty cum and



S p i r i t s.


My body

which, was never Mine

It Gave

And that boy….


could not be protected in life

Could not be protected in death.


We traipsed narrow alleys in Paris,

were dragged through

frolicked amongst the gardens near the Thames

were carted past

leisurely intoxication surrounded by figs and olives and walnuts

poisoned and drugged

My heart sings The Chorus of Hebrew Slaves

Never to live Freedom


So I danced.

IN my hairy nakedness

IN my silken servitude

Until the Body

that I never wanted

Finally broke.

But no death,

No, force protected, even then

from the avarice

and like the animal they always knew me to be

the organs and

the veins and the muscles and the ligaments and the tendons and the fluids


they were removed

And the shell became a doll for the dirty men to play with.


The molecules carry

Remembrances imprinted

in Verdi, in Mozart,

and in fragments of a dying language

polluted corrupted

But that still reverberates through what is left of my body

As a kind of beauty. Terrible.




account_box More About

A Korean American actor and writer