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.