BANSHEE by Jessica Drake-Thomas
by Jessica Drake-Thomas
When I woke, it was dark.
I could hear
I could see
Just shadow and gray light,
filled with the scent of smoke,
My limbs locked in paralysis,
wrapped in the embrace
of an iron coffin.
I called out:
I think I’m
from the inside out
golden skin splitting, turning to ash,
flakes glittering, swirling on dry, crackling air.
There was nothing,
Once, I was a small child,
chasing ghost trains in the mist.
The ground, damp beneath my bare feet,
as rain slipped down
the blue leaves of the hyacinths I carried.
In the tree beside me,
hanging from branches like witches’ fingers,
frayed ropes and the Nine of Swords danced in the wind.
A man wearing a coat
like the silence behind the stars
stepped around the witch-tree,
shot me in the cheek.
I watched my blood sink into the ground,
death wrapped itself about me,
a winedark stain,
and birds flew out of the tree,
susurrations of wings beating like my slowing pulse.
Here I am, the dead returned
to walk the burned earth,
howling up at the slice of a moon, thin like a knife.
When I woke, I screamed my name into the void
and something ancient answered,
breath scented with grave dirt.
Jessica Drake-Thomas is a poet, writer, and book blogger. She has college degrees from Tulane, Emerson, and the U of A. Her work has been featured in Ghost City Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Grimoire. I am the poetry editor at La Scrittrice.