Murder, cold, written like fingernails
that splintered off under weirwood,
through fairy stones, see witch’s mark.
Only a deal with the Devil speaks truth.
Death’s gall she wrote, death’s sword she spoke.
And the haints were close, and the bells closed in,
and that wicked pianoman with his smuggler’s fingers
plinked out a melody like a shatterglass rain of pain.
Wicked is she who writes, wicked is she who speaks.
He would have her tongue cut out and mouth sewn with filth.
He would spit Apollo in Cassandra’s eyes to silence with mad prophecies.
So the bitter wind would blow, and she would be the cratered moon, homeless.
What woman is, woman sings, and when the lyrics wax gibbous, he remembers.
A clamor of frogs from dry earth, thirsting for her rain.
And the poets all pay homage to Enheduanna, priestess author who saw Inanna gibbeted
and sold for a psalm, Dumuzi wasn’t faithful, only deathly Nergal warms the bed of Ereshkigal,
goddess of dust gathers, goddess sister of rainbows and love wanders and curses sheperd gods.
And when her flood came for Utnapishtam, she said, let my pain be a reminder
that only jackals take the rightful dinner, and I, goddess of pain, first scribe
chart the course of history, so Dumuzi, so Nergal, so pianoman, so biter of heels
Allister Nelson is a published poet, academic and author that loves fierce women, bold myths, and smashing glass ceilings.