Amputated (Dream)

 

You can’t do that! I cry out in fear,

watching the woman laid bare on the bed.

A blade presses gently against her arm, 

trailing an invisible line across her skin. 

And then once more further down, 

across the thigh above the knee.

It is diseased, you say. 

All between the lines you see.

There is no other way. 

 

I cry, I fear, I panic and think

that woman will die.

For how could she not?

 

You listen not to me.

Your hand is steady, 

you cut and reshape

the flesh that remains. 

 

It is with great relief I see

the woman stand

alive and free of pain,

free of all that was. 

So much, cut away, 

she’s now no taller than a child

but still alive.

 

Yes, I see her walking.

Through painful loss,

and frightful aid,

a brand new life.

Before they are gone (Dream)

 

I am awake.

How long I have slept, I can’t tell. 

Rising from bed I come to face a mirror.

Tracks across my bare skin, I see them there. 

 

Footprints, paw prints, bird prints, 

prints of unknown beasts.

With a careful finger I follow the tracks, 

trying to make sense of what can not be. 

 

More, there is more. 

Pictures emerging, figures and faces, 

beings of this world and the next.

I marvel at the sight.

 

Fading, they are fading quick. 

Record them, photograph them,

commit them to memory

before they are gone. 

Not Without Risk (dream)

 

The wilderness passes by at a slow pace, to the clop-clop-clop sound of hooves. It is not a horse I ride, not even a pony. Just a donkey, so small that my feet nearly touch the ground. 

Clop-clop-clop-clop, on we go.

Something catches my eye beside the road, something moving between trees and bushes. A blurr of colour, orange or yellow, swiftly gone. To see it better I take the spyglass from my side and raise it to my eye, seeing through the tube a picture only somewhat clearer. 

A tiger. Slowly stalking through the edge of the forest, slowly coming closer. I lower the glass, the animal has come close enough for me to clearly see it even without such tools. It has its eyes on me. It is coming.

Clop-clop-clop-clop I urge the donkey on along the road. We are too slow, all I can do is hope the attack never comes. 

 

 

 

A Cleansing

 

snowy skies

 

 

In rainwater soak

Leaves of birch chopped fine

Into it coarse salt pour and

Mix with almond oil

 

 

Strip down bare

Even if cold

Leave not a thread

Even if cold

 

 

As thorough as ever then

Wash your limbs

Wash your body

Wash your hair

Rinse in running water

 

 

With salted birch and oil you then

Scrub your limbs

Scrub your body

Scrub your hair

Rinse in running water

 

 

Afterwards

Clean new clothes

Chamomile and honey tea

Sleep and be reborn

 

 

snowy skies

 

 

 

Tainted

 

The flame of Odin’s candle flickered, thrown back and forth as if in agony. I took a breath but found no air. I closed my eyes but found no solace. Guide me, I asked. Please, guide me.

The writhing flame only screamed.

Please, I asked. Please.

No.

Every twist of the sacred flame charred my intentions. Please, I cried.

No.

Not when word of self loathing mark your body. Why would I speak to one who is worthless, one who is no one? 

The flame crackled and twisted around its own self as I reached for my blade. My hands were steady even as my heart trembled. Sharp, so very sharp, against skin.

Words of self loathing, I scraped them off. Words of self degradation, removed from my flesh.

When not a trace of shame remained, the flame grew silent.

Such words are not easily erased. The naked eye might not see the hateful lines, but still they are there. 

He did not speak to me. No booming voice nor gentle whisper. Only agony.

Do not approach me so tainted. 

 

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Once More, a Dream

 

… and uniforms, we all wear them. Crisp and clean, we are to look good for the camera. Look good for the public. I have to remind myself to smile and hold my back straight, to keep pretending. My gaze flickers from one person to the next, never lingering too long on those I know to be friends. Just a little while longer must we hold it together, this act of ours. Just a little while longer.

On my right side suddenly stands a woman. I know her not by name, but that matters little. She is one of us. One who has had to give up everything, had to renounce her faith and put on a mask of uniformity, just to survive. 

I see her shaking. Her lips, her arms, her entire essence, trembling. There is sweat across her brow and a look of desperation in her dark brown eyes. By my side she stands, whispering with a voice muddled by tears. 

“I can’t… I can’t do this…”

The chill of danger floods me. Too many around us, there are too many.

“Please don’t go without me,” she whispers. “I… I…”

Too many watching. I lean in, lower my head by hers, face to face as were we about to kiss. Shielding her expression from being seen. My upper lip grazes against hers as I whisper. 

“You can do this. Breathe. Don’t think. We won’t leave you.”

Just a little while longer.

 

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