poem17 Jul 2017 08:00 am

Her bones vibrate with song.
She is the lute strung with flesh.
You would have to touch her to hear.
You would have to touch her to understand

I am descended from a line of witches
stretching all the way back to the age of fires.
We never burned, but oh, we own the heat.
Coals are ice in our hands, and hearts
not brittle fantastical things that break,
but bloody muscle that fits in our hands.

Her hands are always lined with sand, earth.
She is a pilgrim looking for pearls in a desert.
You would have to follow her to know what she really wants.
You would have to stop looking at her to really see.

I am like the wandering wind, nothing
like all these brave women before me. They
owned the earth they were born on, and I
have forgotten the place where my mother gave me life
and left her own to sing with shadows.
And if Death is my home, I choose not to want it.

Her coat is the sky made from starlight and ice.
She never hungers even if her mouth is always dry.
You would have to think up the well
deep enough to slake her thirst.

I am no longer without shadow.
I am no longer star-hidden, ice-cowled.
Once they feel your flesh, once they really see you,
all they want is bind you to their earth, home they call it.
Shadows form when you stop moving with the stars,
when you bow your head to the sun.

Her bones glow like molten gold,
Her heart as if caught by the lute’s string.
She will take the fruit from your hand and eat.
You would have to catch her shadow in a well to make her drink.

Illustration is Hexen by Hans Baldung, 1508

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