Saturday, February 23, 2019

Necessary Slaughter

Picture this frail slender woman, pale and forty-five,
in fog of which she might be made, approaching
a familiar well in southern England, leaning bony
elbows on the rim and peering in. She's come to seek
two prophesies: the first, a metaphor – imploring,
hoping for – some new dark fish to surface, another
looming scaly face, to catch the sight of, coming up.
She’ll dare to look down there again: to mine it for
the alien eyes of what you’re not supposed to find
in wells – a divination that will offer her its spells,
hoping she will see whatever her arcane desires require,
according to the exigencies, needs and cries of her
beseeching unpredictabilities, her fleet and fickle mind.
This is how her other children have come up: she's
learned to wait, alone, in privacy, alert and quiet
as a mouse, for any sign of life to stir. (Her latest
evanescent infant she called "To the Lighthouse.")
She'll wait until the next one comes and if it doesn't,
she'll review the prospects of a second destiny:
not waiting for a fish but possibly becoming one.
Among the many things that you can do with water
is approach it as if you were its abandoned daughter –
choose the option of effecting through its frigid depths
the next expected sacrifice, and necessary slaughter.

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