A Letter to Mata Hari, dead at 41 By Cierra Lowe

A Letter to Mata Hari, dead at 41

I can envision your pilot,
roiling within his apartment that
frying eggs and renouncing
your conception. As if
your essence was merely insult
to his injury.

I bet you were born on Rosh Hashanah.
I bet you used a rib as a hatpin.
I bet that those twelve barrels seemed a curious affection
as they peered upon you—
and so you blew a kiss
to the firing squad.

You were made deaf by
God’s silence.
It was bullets that made love to
your body for the last time.
They say you wore white gloves.
They say you kept your face to the sky.

As blood wept from your abdomen,
it gathered around you like still-blind
offspring, hungry for its mother.
You were 41—with legs curled
beneath you like an impossible
chair—when you fatally birthed
the first Rorschach test: to France,
it looked like moral ambiguity.
To Maslov, it looked like insubordination.
To your creator, it looked like spilled ink.

This poem was previously published in Dime Show Review.

By Cierra Lowe


Cierra Lowe is a poet and half-assed artist living in St. Louis, Missouri. She received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Webster University, and is currently pursuing her BSN at University of Missouri – St. Louis. She self-published her first full-length collection—The Horse and the Water—in 2016, and is currently working on her second. When she isn’t trying to poison her husband with undercooked meats, Cierra enjoys compulsively organizing her belongings, changing lanes in intersections, and monitoring planetary motions. She is currently working on a series of letters to female sex symbols who have tragic ends, and well as an uncomfortable collection of interviews. She looks forward to even-numbered years, and her work has previously appeared in Bad Jacket.

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