Pictured is Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
i was the original darkened leaf ascending,
i breathed from the earth’s filth like
a beta fish. small and durable.
(i’m not yet dead.)
but how could i not love you?
how could the mahogany autumn not love
the perpetual water surrounding,
the branch-arms of dust (so lovely)
the brother who opened his eyes with me?
you think i was only a foreshadowing
but you could have lived, my shadows
bathing in distant rivers (missing the dust
of your skin, mud’s brother and only
lover, but with eyes too high
to crawl back beneath your feet)—
you could have thrived.
the harsh dredges of fall
fall before the winter,
but the winter kills like an apple rotting,
it’s barren braches stabbing the souls of
you have no one to blame but yourself.
She never saw me, never knew my name. I left him alone. I left him like a tree from a leaf.
A cub from a cub. We were never melded by that fire-- the hushed trees of oneness, here where perfection totters on its edge.
I know too much.
I know enough to know there’s nothing more to know.
Is it possible to know more than these aching treetops, the surrounding vast loneliness still crawling
with unnamed animals, small and hurt children, the
blueprints of an ancient heartsong? That my sex
will be fighting his, all this time, stepped on and spitting and venomous and clawing?
Is it possible to know more than the fact that this earth will turn black, and the sky will turn to
and pierce this fresh skin in a heartbeat, a generation, a fistful of violent centuries- ?
And it’s the waiting that will hurt the most.