(goddess of lightening dance volcanoes violence)

Night smells of tuberose
Do not breathe its addictive darkness too deeply.

Take small sips, like a humming bird.
Let the sweetness skim the surface of your lungs.

Do not let it penetrate your heart
you will be unable to leave –
wanting to stay, wanting to take this night with you,
wanting to take this place with you,
scooping grains of black sand from the island’s edge
as a keepsake. Do not.

You will inflame the goddess, her hair circled
with scented flowers, she will erupt

into volcanic dance, a fire pit dance which gulches sulphur
into the sea, smoke into the air. The black sand

you hold was once molten. Pouring from calderas,
sealing the landscape into lava.

Rinse it from your hands and feet, let none cling.
Pele reaches far.

Archery class fugue

Vertebrae fuse as I slip out
my spinal cord, attach it to the bow,

feel the flex and tension
as the fletches sit snug.

Something medieval,
dark age, winds its way

through my arms,
elbows, fingers.

I am yew tree.
Holding fast and poised

over the interstice between centuries.
After the third arrow flies

straight as a wish
I check the bow string for elf-locks

before feeding it back,
shiver by shiver

through my skull,
through nub of bone

until warmth returns to my skin
and I remember who I am.

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