this is how we began

this is the sign of our first contact
the first of her flesh, the youngest flesh i’ve seen
cloaking her spirit

this is her time of dresses
fit for a child, of virgin white
unlike her other lives
unlike the aeons to come
when she would so comfortably inhabit
the colour of her lover, death

this is the way we begin

the scene of our first contact
queued in line with packs of body parts
machines / beep scanning / cash / registering
fresh scalps wrapped in clear plastic
blood pooled on styrofoam plates
clean unwrinkled flesh
eyes, scooped from skill
eyes still bright from final visions

her stance is a dance frozen in time
of motion, paused, still frame innocence
curve of teenage waist and calf
a supple posture of youth and lamb
skin untouched by violence
a bride to be, a witchcraft of woman
the maiden with legs apart

this is how we will begin

the confrontation
the father of disruption
a body borrowed by interrupter
an automaton questioning the strength of my heart

“I will be true to her words,” i tell him

the father babbles, warns, a body jerking, a marionette of horror
“this is a time of vultures but not of corpses.”

she is already in recital, an intelligence of the outer kind
the clarity of babel, hybrid sounds of animal and man
streaming through her
words cascading from nubile lips
light adding light to light.

“I am the night that births your desert
i am the heart full of death
beating in the gut of your cauldron.”

this is how we ended
this is how we began
a moment beyond the great passing
a moment beyond the terminal years
beyond the sediments of fallen shrines

I return to some other start
waking at the edge of the forest
watching in the time of the vultures
waiting for the sickle to fall

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