She Who Destroys the Light

By: Rachel Franklin

first seed

Darling, you and I both know
in a better world I could be your Lethe
wrap around you, drown you
erode everything that ever tried to bring your fate down on you.
Still if I picked up the pieces
I’d hear their soft hum
the one shell moan for the sea
for even then there would be places in you
still not free

second seed

Surely women must have learned by now
never to trust fruit.
A garden is a prison earned
and there is nothing satanic, nothing sacred
about hunger.
Yet when your body curls in on itself
seduced by not-seeds that need only thirst to root
you find your lips wet
and what might be blood or juice
becomes the same as sweat.

third seed

Your skin is singing
I swear, hymns to the colors
the way the world’s ringing hurts your ears
the salt of the Dead Sea come alive in your tears
the smell only in the sky as the rain clears
the poppy-eyed bud people who spend years
walking around, faces turned toward the light
thrusting pomegranate crown
fingers up up up to pray
as if the good lord giveth for reasons
other than to contrast what happens
when he taketh away.

fourth seed

If I was brave enough
I would plant my spit
and bones and fingernails
and grow roses
when you build
glass houses for your stones.
But I am no iron queen
content to perfectly
decompose. All I can do is
lay down on your altar
dream of making the world
barren as my organs
feel it must be.
When things that flowed
under me have dried
screaming echos
into spiral shells
will never change
the tide.

fifth seed

If only there would
not be seasons
but, oh, darling
I know he’s idling between
nerve endings
painting wine wings
on your shoulder blades
his words sticking between
the back of your throat and swallowing
and I don’t care, now.
You will, I hope you won’t,
but you will and still
the world is alight.
Tinged in green,
fit to bursting
it cascades through
gaps in the boughs
of our tree of
you’re the one who
gives me life. 

sixth seed

if this curse would let me
before you next depart
I would crown
you queen of queens
give you rule
over your 613-chamber