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