Each god, he weakens your knees
but flees from trouble.
Anchor him to an altar.
Anchor him to your own church.
In a thicket of embraces
enough to clip women in half,
you will have to be killing-strong.
Widow, rise up.
Rip into the world with your teeth.
You are the revenant,
the heart that remains.
Clench every unpredictable beat.
You are a survivor with limited rations, not enough left to keep blind rule-following alive— hard choices to be made.
First, start the bonfire with your rage, incinerating the old life.
Find a way to make peace
enough with the world to stay in it,
to make room for yourself—and others.
Build a new house; shelter us.
Pierce the sky with your steeple
and throw open the doors.
“To the Bride” first appeared in Slide a Mirror to Me (Transcendent Zero Press, 2017).
Image Credits: Daniel Olnes