Glorification de L'Élue

She was so beautiful I thought I might die

but that doesn’t matter anymore. What matters

is that they tied six girls to the tree and threw

rocks and flowers at their heads. I shudder at the thought

 

of seeing with my eyes open. Lada asked me how I

was feeling, God bless her, as I wept beneath her effigy.

Some days it’s quite easy to lose track of the time.

Some days the gods swallow minutes like blackberries.

 

The farmer’s daughter saw a demon—

his eyes black, his arms red, his hooves silver—

walking along the river. He asked her what stories she had

to tell, so she sat him down on a rock to tell him about

 

the apocalypse. And that stupid thing, he shook with

anger (or maybe fear) and taught the girl how to sew her skin. I

was watching from heaven, clawing the flesh off my knees

and sending lightning to fill their veins. Nothing hit them.

 

They made love on the riverbank and married on a day

when the sun looked like a swelling rose. Sometimes

I visit her in dreams and hope that she’ll see me, and she

often does. My shape is familiar to her despite its translucence.

 

Each morning when she wakes up she grasps for me but,

upon regaining full consciousness, can’t remember just

what she is looking for. Meanwhile, I am shrieking at

the top of my lungs and setting the scarecrows on fire fire fire.

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