#1957

Dua Bast, Lady of the Flame!
may we be protected by this light
and sleep safely through the night

[ My girlfriend insists on leaving the porch lights on at night so any murderers can’t see where they’re going. I realized I could turn the use of those lights into a sort of protection prayer/spell, so above is the simple prayer to Bast I’ve started using each night. ]

#1954 – Summer Solstice

The apple. The pomegranate. His hand.

The dance.

Chest to chest, hip to hip as if one heartbeat, as if one breath
(step, turn, step)
hand to the small of the back and fingers trailing over stiff linen
(step, turn, dip)
and then the bite of the blade, too sharp to even hurt
(step, turn, step)
red drops on white carpet, rose petal wrists
(step, turn, step)
arm sliding around narrow waist, mouths bruising
(step)
then the blade to bare throat with merciful speed
(turn)
and gentle hands amid the red river
(dip)
lay him down.

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[ Read the other solstice fragments. ]

#1953

“This Is Your Brain On Anxiety”

frozen like a rabbit
under the shadow of a hawk
I’m paralyzed at my desk
what did she mean by ‘incident’?
why can’t I email [REDACTED]?
am I about to be demoted?
am I about to be fired?
okay
okay
okay just
breathebreathebreathe
no, b r e a t h e
do something
answer an email– no!
what if I’m about to be fired?
why didn’t they clean my cubicle out on Friday?
why didn’t she put anything on my calendar?
what does this have to do with [REDACTED]?
is this a dream? I think this is a dream
wake up wake up wake up
come on come on come on
okay, not a dream
um
um
okay
wait – this wasn’t about me at all?

#1946

I wish
I knew whether you speak to me in memories
or metaphors
I dream
reek of burning feathers, scorched flesh
the weight of you in his arms
the slow seep of the unhealing wound
I dream
he kisses your cracked lips, feverish skin
murmurs against your breast an ancient name
that tastes of coals and blood
I wish
I knew when you speak truth
and when you speak lies
I wish
I knew whether you are cruel or merely
unfathomable