‘This Soundless Murk’, Hester J. Rook

Illustration © 2020 Miguel Santos

 [ Blue flesh, © 2020 Miguel Santos ] Bathe me
darling take my hair between your hands
drag this comb through it, do not mind how it rips and it snags.
I like the feel of teeth against my scalp. I don’t feel much, any more,
you know? Oh darling
I see you try to warm my bluish flesh and I thank you
in kind and kindly, but I have been in this lake for so long I have forgotten the taste
of the sun, and of fire, and of the pulse of blood within my wrists.
Did you know, darling
once I sung strains, sweet-lipped and scarce
tied rose ribbons to tree boughs and swam
deep through snow. I was red cheeked
and unbroken, swept up in the romance of the pines,
the swallowed songs of birds. I forget how long ago that was now,
darling. I think perhaps my body is buried near here, here
or perhaps not, perhaps where this lake used to rest its swollen banks.
Did you know lakes travel, darling? They move
like bent over old men, so slow. It was so long ago. I am very tired, darling—
it is hard to remember when you have been so very long in the cold. Isn’t the frost pretty
this time of year? I like to count the creatures that fall between the gaps in the ice.
Will you join me, darling? I will welcome you
with grasping arms.

© 2020 Hester J. Rook

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