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Domestic Discipline
Deanna Paul
Writer of the Month

When god walks into the room
with his clawed beard
and a step that floats his way across the floor
she keeps her flirting mouth shut. 

In a long white robe like her mother’s cotton nightgown,
she stands beside the dining room window.
Shawl drapes over shoulders
and as a ballerina would,
her slender legs cross at the ankle.
Dark hair swoops
up in a crown, she is a statue, studying
the world on the other side of the glass
gleaming as if polished by hundreds of hands. 

But only his hands can dress her
in such breathtaking colors:
Blackish greens and gold
stroked scarlet, a touch of royal blue.
When he asks her to dance she leans in 

and he kisses her
eye with his fist, then licks her
neck like a breeze. This blow:
his code of affection. 

She lies silently
in a long hospital gown like her mother's.
She wonders, am I dreaming?
Did I make eyes with men
like hot wires, must my mouth
be woven closed for everyone
but Him. Like he commands
the lips between my broken legs
that crossed him. 

Deanna Paul is a New York City prosecutor by way of Miami Beach, Florida, where she handles violent crimes against children and felony sex crimes. Deanna is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law and a member of the New York City Bar Association's Domestic Violence Committee. Not as quiet as she appears, Deanna plans to keep using her words and creating as best she can--she hopes to make a lot of noise in this world. 

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