BANSHEE by Jessica Drake-Thomas

 
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BANSHEE

by Jessica Drake-Thomas


I. 

When I woke, it was dark.

I could hear

nothing.

I could see

nothing.

Just shadow and gray light,

filled with the scent of smoke,

bruised petals,

sick, sweet.

 

My limbs locked in paralysis,

wrapped in the embrace

of an iron coffin.

 

I called out:                                                                               

 

Darling, 

I think I’m

burning

 

from the inside out

golden skin splitting, turning to ash,

flakes glittering, swirling on dry, crackling air.

 

There was nothing,

no response.

 

II.  

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.

 

III.

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.

(Pronouns: she/her)