She Speaks Storms into Being
Words By Carolyn Janecek, Art By Jasmin
Winner of the 2018 Winter Contest.
I’ll love you the only way a rotten fish could love:
by slipping my rancid silver scales
under your tongue at night, impaling my eyes
and plugging your nostrils with them. Father, I’ll give you
my skull: cracked open, a goblet forcing you to
drink my rot if you sell me to a husband.
I know––you love me enough to sever your ankles
and damn them into hooves. Daughter,
you speak thunder, a queen hunting for a spire––
I will find a worthy man for you; a man
who will eat his mother’s
heart for a taste of yours.
Will I spin myself a gown from brimstone; lace
my fingers through Lilith’s? Become
woman: unsalvageable, apostate
wife left to lurk among the other broken ribs?
Please––let a husband draw
the lightening from your breath before
it turns to hellfire. Could you imagine
yourself unharvested? A passion
left to storm this countryside?
Yes––SHE HANGS HER HEAD ABOVE FOREST FIRES;
THICKENS HER MUCUS WITH ASH––
Yes––SHE CRACKLES, PINE FLESH BURSTING INTO
WILD LUPINE, ASPHODEL––
Yes––THE LAND REAWAKENS IN HER TEMPEST;
SHE ROAMS THE CINDERS, STEAMING––