Should Have Known

You put the poison
In my cup
Then laughed it off.
What was there to do
But to purge it?
To walk or to drive it away
With the crunch of gravel,
The slow unrolling of the earth
Under me?

“Killing me” –
Were the words you used.
And you asked if I was happy, now.
So I let down the veils upon veils
To conceal.
I made myself the new moon
In your sight.
Relied on a hero myth
To work my way back out here again.

And it is only here,
And now,
In her holy presence,
That I can allow myself to wax full.
Chase a copper-eyed frog from the grass.
Attune myself to the daily progression
Of goldenrod
From shining August green
To September’s glory glow.
Surprised by the bluebirds’
Quiet song in the reeds.

Yes,
Here I could be happy.
Free from the blade
You had forced into my hand.
Happy but not well,
I needed to burn off the poison –
Turn it into sweat in the late-summer sun.
My heart grew heavy with it,
The engine screamed at too-early exertion.
And still I waited for the moment,
The sudden turning
When I would feel it
Leaving me behind at last.

I knelt and I looked
At the blood on my hands.
I prayed for a rain to
Wash this away.
Catbird and crickets
Calling at a crossroads.
Watched two dragonflies
Dance and then part
In a still air.
Why couldn’t it be so simple?

Too tightly bound,
We were slow
And weak.
It was more than we could take.
How to cut ourselves free
From the tangled net –
Our escape plan –
Became an object.

The air grew close.
And finally,
Crawling,
I passed the dark door,
Found you waiting there,
Listening.
I turned over your hand,
And found the second
Blooded blade.

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About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

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