Defiant, like the accused, guarding an official plea. Read by the hearth in peace, just before your husband’s simple tongue betrays you. Hide a contract made in the presence of learned men, or they will suspect your signature bound you to the Dark Prince. Shoot a dog to appease a resounding paranoia. Close off the borders to any that would question strange motives. No one will come to see the ergot, the epileptic seizure, the need for attention, for what it truly is. Children will perish, but we can make more. Women cannot be trusted; they are convincing enough to tempt the God-fearing zealot.
If you want to find the man to blame, look for the one who smiles amid the rubble. Hold nothing against him, as it is more intelligent to make him an ally. He knows what to expect for years to come, simply by glimpsing at the western cloud formations, during January’s solemnities. There is always food for the hungry. Eat the bitter thing, covered in maggots. One cannot always afford to be selective.
It rains ashes in Massachusetts. Abigail hides her moan in the wind. And each snow flake that descends from its sky, has the blood of Tituba’s false confession. It is not difficult to see that we are the apple, and we are the worm. We are the word, and the flame that will consume all traces of the temporary wisdom that invented it.
Sing a song for Giles Corey, pressed down for all eternity. Sing a song for those who breathed their last on Gallows Hill. Sing for those that lied, and those that suffered as a result.
“If you have ghosts, then you have everything.”
Every lost moment adds up, and someone must keep track of its weight. I write in journals, hoping it has a beneficial and therapeutic effect in my life. There is no evidence of this yet, but I cling to my habits. I am still nothing more than a woman marked with graffiti, waiting to be painted over. If I want a boat to sail on, I suppose it is time to build it.
“If you call it surprise there it is.”
I can see my shape in every vision I have. Dreams do, in fact, have an expiration date. Hoping for anything at all, seeps out of a puncture wound in my self-confidence. When nightfall comes to ask what I have done with the daylight hours I was gifted with, I am as silent as a tongueless martyr.
“I don’t want my fangs too long.”
I pour salt water on my wounds, so that even with youth left, I am a blistering ogre. What one has lived through is supposed to impress those privy to the details. Look at that one’s fortitude and resiliency, they’ll say. But what is truly notable, is what one is able to overcome. There is a difference.
“The moon to the left of me, is a part of my thoughts, is a part of me, is me.”