Author: Julie Kinney

You know, Eurydice
it’s for the best this way.
How could your man love you
with your flesh hanging like rags
from your skeleton?
And how could he kiss you
with your breath smelling
of snake venom and maggots
And your mouth filled up with copper coins?

His long thin fingers tangle in my graying hair
Weaving poppies through my braids.
A heavy scent stains his fingers as
He strokes my face.
The sweet warmth of opium wraps around me
a blanket of fog and moonlight.
We kiss.
Night drips across the sky.
Thunder cracks outside the window.
Rain pours through the gutters.

I dream him in the desert,
Long dark hair swirling on the wind of dreams
Somewhere camel bells and wind chimes
Tinkle in dusty air.
Deep brown eyes, saddened and smiling
Blackness gathering around the lids
Children, I never remember bearing
Run on the playgrounds of dream
Riding the camels and eating dates
I am always young in the dreamtime.

Every time I open my eyes, I am older here.
He never changes.
Holding me, I will never age,
Wrapped in the dark arms of sleep.
We will have today, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
He will never give me up to his brother
The god of death.

Like the mailman,
…………he leaves every night
on his appointed rounds,
…………carrying his sack
filled with
……………..the gritty yellow sand
……………………of sleep.

After he is gone,
…………I swing my feet
……..over the edge of the crescent moon,
…..slim in its last quarter,
and dangle my toes out into space.
…………My children
………………………………with their hooked beaks
……………………and round yellow eyes
………………………..in flat faces,
…………fight aimlessly among themselves.

……..How could I have had such children?

……..During each of my ten pregnancies,
…………he fed me the sweetest candy eyes
……………………of naughty children
………………..in puddings made of tears.
…………Lovely, fiery red eyes,
………………..poached and smothered
………………………………in Hollandaise sauce.
……………………And he beat me as each child was born
………………………………uglier than the last.

……………………I no longer have a taste for eyes.

…………At midnight,
………………………………he returns
…………………………with a fresh sack.
……………………He sighs at his children
…………………………poking at them
……………………with calloused fingers
……………..as they scramble past
……………………crying for food.

I wash the sand from each delicate orb
……and boil a panful for breakfast.