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for armistice: the dragon's aftermath

by Rachelle Howe

you took my hand and i saw
bones leap from flesh, shedding bloodlines,
stark white and grinning naked
above discarded piles of skin
left crumpled on the tile

you spoke me out of my molding coffin
the kind that rots in open eyes,
on fearful lips and withered hands.
I found myself hoisted into the ceiling,
to watch, to wait

for armistice: the warring tribes lived beyond
the reach of my fingertips, and death
had built a graveyard between my arms
and your body. i swore i'd never closed my eyes,
but darkness claimed me anyway

it always did, it always would.
i played hopscotch with the onslaught,
i was rained under, kept down
kicking, i hurled my weight into other realms.
trembling beneath the wake.

no gentle flow, this. it rocked me, and
my mouth melted away at the furious taste
before it could speak in antidotes and tongues.
i questioned only once the weight
of water, and was told it measured three

times the weight of man. i clutched two
empires between my webbed fingers. i was
a snake in the dragon's aftermath,
my vertebrae snapped and floundering.
i waded through the birthlight,
scathed, broken, battered.
the screaming touch
that marked me last
was a subtlety of death.

10/07/2003

Author's Note: okay. this was a long effort between Mainon A Schwartz and myself that started as a topic challenge. she wrote the first stanza, i wrote the second, and so on. then, after careful editing, we birthed this.. thing. :) bow to us. hehehehehehehe! just kidding. (the unedited version: "topic: subtleties that scream (KRISINTHEBOX!)"

Posted on 10/07/2003
Copyright © 2022 Rachelle Howe

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Don Coffman on 10/07/03 at 09:43 AM

A collaboration with excellent results! You both worked together absolutely seamlessly. A remarkable and enjoyable bit of poetry results. :)

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