the goddess of the poles

her children once ran wild, or

burrowed underground for safe keeping.

they emerged in the spring,

braiding indigo, baobab, and moringa;

their melancholy a catalyst for renewal.

in her they saw nature’s duality, 

a capacity for rebirth:

infinite selves destroyed and renewed,

life and death embodied.


watching enviously from the distance,

and claiming esoteric knowledge 

her children did not possess,

the old guard sought to tame them, 

shape them,

remake them:

pave over their wilderness 

with the concrete of taxonomy.

the wisest among them—

crowned as they were 

with their bright wreaths 

of logic,

and bearing the new mark of

the healer

—constructed her a temple upon

the sand.


with precision they forged her image: 

her priests in cold,

clinical whites and

not-quite-pastel greens;

her children in skimpy gowns and

brown leather bracelets

trimmed in flashes of silver;

her sacraments in tiny yellows, 

pinks, and blues.

her plural nature reimagined 

as a singular curse,

her eccentric rhythms reconfigured 

into harmonious submission:

faithful worship demanded 

weekly blood sacrifice and

daily acceptance of the sacrament.


to survive, the elders assented,

casting away their spells and

herbs,

folding the expanse of mind into

tiny pinks and blues,

opening veins in her honor,

praying for her forgiveness.

yet she became unreasonable,

insatiable—

as women are wont to do, 

the priests laughed

—and demanded 

a sacrifice of youth. 


but she did not take them at once,

instead savoring each drop

of vitality, a slow trickle.

a missed year of school here, or

two missed years there;

a decade of floundering here, or 

two decades of addiction there.

she chose their path arbitrarily,

capriciously:

a lost future here, or 

a lost life there. 


to appease her, the priests

formulated new sacraments,

conjured new deities,

immolated the youngest—

like kindling, you see

—and confined those heretics 

who dared describe her true image.

her children gathered to honor their dead,

and seeing ghosts in a mirror,

found their power in naming her captors;

the elders remembered their spells,

grew the herbs that once nourished them, 

exploded tiny whites and blues,

and unfolded the expanse of mind.

in each other,

they recognized her face,

reveled in her strength.


with joy they ran circles around her temple,

their feet shaking its foundation,

kicking up sand, laughing,

the children leading the elders; 

until at last, it crumbled.

their faces turned inward

in ecstatic joining with her,

transcendent bliss permeating each pore,

each cell,

each molecule:

until she could no longer be contained, and

a dark curtain fell behind their eyes.

a new moon offering, 

cocooned in despair,

waiting to blossom again.

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