by Shaylen Maxwell
In this version, Dante's Francesca is walked to the guillotine, a book, a copy of Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveller still in her clutches, and semen still dried upon her thighs. She lays her head, she holds her breath. She has been wicked, yes, but she has no regret. Her Paolo is amongst the faceless crowd, now rooting for her demise. He's not cheering. The axe drops, her head rolls, and the pages of their beloved book blow open in the breeze.
Shaylen Maxwell has a degree in psychology from York University and her work has been published in publications in the U.S. and overseas. She currently resides in exile with her menagerie of wild animals: a red wolf, two deranged cats, and four blood-thirsty bunnies. (Click here to make a donation to Shaylen, half of which will support 6S.)