October 2013

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou

In exactly 500 words, what is happening here?

Michael Lejeune says:

he came again last night.
he comes every night, now.
i wait for him with fog on my tongue; i wait for him with sage in my hair.
he brings death with him.

there is a stone in my heart.
i used to feel it only when the moon was full, but i was a girl and love was a dream
and the newts only watched my feet in the stream.
there is a stone in my heart and my blood flows over it, like sacrifice.
i am not a girl now.
i am a woman soon.

the newts wait for my feet now.
they come to me.
their cat eyes do not blink.

he knows them.
he knows the moon, and he knows the ravens.
he leaves their bodies for me to find in the boundless meadow that surrounds my home.
the meadow that is always green, even in the blue of night.

feet. bones. wings.

today I found a head.
light as air, heavy as death.
its eyes are open, still the dusky yellow of the raven’s life.
portals to the soul, he said.
did he look into these eyes, and see what he must have for his own?
does he do this now with me?
i do not trust a mirror, so i do not know what he sees.
i do not trust a mirror, so i must trust him.

do the ravens come to him?

the stones at the stream are carved in shapes that frightened me when i was a child.
they are beautiful to my woman’s eyes.
they are family now.
we brood, the stones and i.
i come to them to sit and wait for him.
they are cold under my feet.
my shawl smells of dust.
if he does not take me tonight, i will grow old.
dust will define me.

i see him now, cresting the farthest hill.
his shadow goes before him in long streamers that tickle the meadow.
i feel them upon my heart, testing its edges, laying questions where answers already lie.
will he kill me today?
who will find my head, resting lightly on the grass?
the blue in my eyes.
the portals through which i exited the world in my skull.
the world in my meadow.

his abyss creeps before him.
there are no shadows in the meadow save the one that surrounds him.
i do not move.
i must be ready.

i hear my brother, in the reeds.
he is wolf.
he cries for me.
it is his song of mourning.
i know it from before.

mother. father. sister.

he sang for their passing.
but this is a different song.
he sings for me.
he knows in ways i cannot.
death is near and he smells it on the wind.
wolves know in ways of blood.
he knows carrion while it still licks the air.

the stone in my heart quakes for the shadow that walks the meadow at night.
he brings death with him.


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