#19




handless

sacrifice:
i was sold to the devil for gold 1.
i gave up my hands for my father 2.
i gave up his wealth to go wander 3.
i gave up my freedom
for one gold skinned pear 4.
i gave up my child for a changeling 5.
i gave up my life for my child 6.

reclamation:
i gave up my kingdom for forests 7.

redemption:
i gave up my king for an angel 8.
i gave up my hands made of silver 9.
for hands made of flesh, made of bone

1. the devil had braided haunches stuck with burrs, steely hooves, a tail like a bramble and horns bursting forth from his forehead as if they hurt him. he saw me by my father's apple tree, pink and white as apple blossoms, and wanted to take a bite.
2. the devil would have killed my father when he would not give me up so i offered my hands instead. the devil cut them off at the wrist with a cleaver. my own tears stopped the bleeding and the stumps healed up like doorknobs.
3. my father became rich and offered me a room in his big house and a servant to clean and feed me, forever like a child. but instead i set off into the world with a sack on my back and my two polished stumps.
4. in a gated garden i saw a pear tree. on it hung a pear the color of spun gold. my mouth watered--i had not eaten in a day. i stood on tiptoe to reach it with my mouth. the king saw me and took me in. he was rich and handsome with large appendages. he forged me hands of silver because a king cannot marry a girl with missing parts. i became his wife.
5. the devil stole my child and put in his place an elflocked fae.
6. in order to save the changeling i had to leave in exile, never to return.
7. with my child i came into the forest redolent with sap and mulch and the dark trickle of secret waters among the roots. here we found an abandoned cottage made of willow branches and here we lived.
8. the angel who found us here is tall as a tree and his hands are like wings. his skin is dark of hue. his smile a pearl necklace. he has no money in his pockets. he has no pockets. he brought me pears and water. he helped me feed my child.
he loves my strange-eyed boy, changeling or not.
9. the angel wept upon my silver hands
and they became
hands of flesh and bone






Comments

  • Imogen Thursday, 06 September 2012

    They put her on the ground like a beast tearing n...

    They put her on the ground like a beasttearing not just her dressleaving no way toscream out loud and sayFather, Father, save meavenge me pleaseLaviniacouldn't eat the foodher father prepared for herwithout being fed like ababy doll,or crawling on the floorlike a dog, burying her facein her feast.Would youcould you smilewhile they dress, undress yousit you up at the table in your pretty dressto drink tea?Would you snarllike a dog, a beast, a broken thing,eating raw meatwith blood on yoursharp teeth.Would you smile as your father strangled yousweet as pie?or would you fight.

  • Imogen Thursday, 06 September 2012

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Ashley Elizabeth Wednesday, 05 September 2012

    Rain pours, thunder rolls and the stone comes aliv...

    Rain pours, thunder rolls and the stone comes aliveWithout blinking, without touching I try to run by,past the angel of stone, reaching, movingwithout me knowinggrowing closer and out of fearI switch eyes, twitching, wanting to feel therefreshing clearness blinking can provide andI remember a science show I watched once thathad these same creatures and I remember him, thatmysterious Doctor, telling me not to blinkand to run.

  • Krista Wednesday, 05 September 2012

    books, baskets, buckets of water and leaves balanc...

    books, baskets, bucketsof water and leavesbalanced on the top of an angel’shead no hands to holdin prayer her head bowedand all her hard work scattersslow motion to the groundher expression is blank, hopelessshe holds up her arms to the skyher watery eyes closingit rains in the autumn like springleaves fall, dampen and pagescovered in black tea and coffeego unread, but lovedfor their unspoken poetry

  • Exitonpch Wednesday, 05 September 2012

    Spark So with 7 billion souls in the rear view mi...

    SparkSo with 7 billion soulsin the rear view mirrorwhat happens to the populationof angels?Or how about tuna? Or tigers. And corn.Now there are 14 billion grasping hands(minus a couple) with 70 billion fingers(counting the thumbs) so how many plotsneed digging when we finishthe last bit of breath and toastbefore this life spark that comes fromwhere does it come from, again?that spark - was it pulsing in some earthwormtunneling rich loam in support of a french fry?I haven't crumbled moist soil between my fingersfor years we haven't played in mudpreferring starry hotels to dirty handsand the drive-up window to ninety nightswaiting for harvest. We let others dig for usout of sight, pulling the spark from landwithout putting it back, muchbut that still doesn't answer where extra angels come from;haven't heard from mine, at leastI should try digging, maybethey're stretched thin, covering so many people.Or maybe there's an asteroid where they grow, somewherein the heavens there's a crop waiting for the sparkto keep growing fingers instead of finsbut when I was ten and already fallingaway from the church in part because I knewcontrary to what I was told, dogs *do* have souls,don't they have guardians, too?So maybe we raided their angel supplywhich explains what happened to the last Javanese rhinoand all the elephants.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments