by Rachel Mindell
Less than two inches high or wide.
Made of copper alloy and gilt, the buckle
depicts two incredible happenings.
On one side, a couple to be betrothed.
The woman’s arm extended
such that the man can grip her hand.
Each has a right foot out.
Above their heads, the Christogram
sanctifies their union in an emerging faith.
On the reverse, Bellerophon astride Pegasus
slays the Chimera with lead on his spear,
forcing it down her lion throat such that
the dragon fire she breathes will melt it,
gagging her, killing also her goat
midsection and her snake behind.
In each scene, a woman of parts is tamed.
In each scene, the divine is invoked, be it
the hovering miracle or the heroism of metal.
What was the comfort of bearing both tales
simultaneously at the belly when one must
have always remained dominant, facing out.
In this beginning, two things true and violent, one obscured.
In the beginning, one always takes and another is taken.