She was barefoot and in a velvet dress,
and we left our footprints in the wet sand
as we walked down the beach.
She had kissed me once, years ago, here,
but that moment of affection was long gone,
and now she had the ways of death to teach.
The sea was dark and tempestuous, like her,
like the dreams of her I had every night, going under,
to the waters that birthed her from a spell.
The silver blade was in her hand, she cut my belly,
and ran her finger through the blood, took a taste,
and said: “As a boy, as a prince, as a slave, you did well.”
Call up sirens and spirits and things wild of another world,
and you cannot make yourself their master or lord.
They will wrap you in the silver bonds of cruelty, devotion.
And there is death in loss, and knowing nothing belongs to you.
She makes a cross on my forehead with my blood, the last binding.
She turns from me, back into the ocean, spent the last of the potion.
She pulls off the dress, free and not made by the god that made me,
and is free in nakedness and without shame, and down into the
slate and colorless waves she dives, leaving the best kind of death,
the little death of greed and emotion, of a paradise that tasted of
the iron tang of blood, and the aching loss in a poets selfish heart,
that makes cathedrals and sacred groves of a wild girl’s breath.