What led me to agree,
to leave my bath and my commitments
and follow the servants to the castle
was not his handsomeness, the mixed magnetism of poet and warrior,
although I once told him it was.
And no matter what you have been told,
I did not bathe purposely for him to see.
The force that drove me to dry the moistness
of my body and apply
the most alluring perfumes my husband had purchased for our bed
was not an obligation to the king
although that is what I once said when I was old.
Converting selfishness into patriotism is a common, if not forgivable,
act of the aged.
When they called me to see him,
I knew what he wanted.
The lust that later birthed love,
that caused me to leave one kind of nobility
and anger a jealous God,
began for me
as I gazed at the bath water
once more before leaving for David’s bed
and saw the curve of both firm breasts
under the silhouette of my hair
for the first time in a very long time,