Chooser of the Slain

Sun, 07/21/2013 - 01:17 -- C.Eck

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His eyes rose to her at once:

a girl his age, towering over him,

ox-wide and fair-haired,

a model for that opera about rings.

 

Northern lights trickled

from wounds beside her temples.

A black Schwinn leaned beside her,

built for two.

 

(They found him

impaled on chain-link,

unconscious, but, by miracle,

alive.)

 

The obvious question:

Was she an angel?

The questioning answer:

“I believe I serve a power

who chose his own wisdom.”

 

They slid through Town.

The storefronts fell to snow;

traffic horns, like thunderheads,

stormed into the roars of men;

and the bridge between this Town and the next

went glacial with watercolors.

 

(He awoke in stale florescence

and he told Mother

he'd monkeyed up the ash by school

and played at war with the boys.)

 

She stopped where the bridge did.

On the tip of an upturned axe,

a golden rooster stood sentinel,

crowing, he thought, like

a mourning old bat in church.

 

Her aurora flickered,

just barely, rebellious.

 

(While he was gone, Mother explained,

she’d read in the paper that Mister Hart

killed his brother. And the groundhog

saw his shadow this year, and everyone

and everything was miserable.

But —”)

 

“Not this day.”

She ordered him back on the Schwinn,

And hoarfrost rebuilt itself

as Town again.

 

At his supine body, she kissed him.

Above, the shadow of a beast

(a wolfhound?)

galloped across the sky

and seized the midday sun.

 

A warning, or an omen:

“Make mischief while you can;

I will pay for mine own.”

 

Between her lips

lie life and pain --

 

(Outside,

a preternatural twilight

crawled across the parking lot.

Mother never liked eclipses;

he agreed, inexplicably.)

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