by

Avra Margariti

Inky treetops converging overhead like gossiping nuns

Against our backs rough stone ridged with grit, shot through with ichor

Scapegoats, sacrificial lambs, oh, I’ve heard it all before.

I, the girl with the devil-pink rabbit eyes and you

With your hummingbird heart on the wrong side of your chest

Tied to this altar tied to each other tied to these brittle bones.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been trapped by chains, by chanting.

You want to know my secret? It’s better if I show you instead

How I called to the darkling trees with the voice of a corvid

How I cursed the cruel earth whose soil thought to seal my fate.

The villagers are coming–a hallowed knife, sacred flames

What will it be this time, I wonder? Perhaps a sickle to absorb

Our lifeblood then bless with it the barren crop fields.

Devilspawns, virgins pure, I’ve heard it all before.

What the villagers don’t know yet is the hunger of the forest.

Our stone altar in the winter woods is as good as a stage

And age-old trees, like nuns, always did love a stimulating story.

 

Kiss me, darling, for I don’t mind blood or bruise.

Both taste like fruit to me: heady, tangy, the skin tender, the flesh wet.

Try it on your red-ruin tongue, your mirror-image heart.

They wanted us cold and buried but we’re burning bright.

Hellhounds bay in the distance but worry not, they’re not here for us.

The trees lean down with relish, a shield against the watchful moon.

The villagers are upon us; let them stare, darling, while they still can.

What a pretty last sight we make.

Avra Margariti is a queer Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Flash Fiction Online, The Forge Literary, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, SmokeLong Quarterly, and other venues. Avra won the 2019 Bacopa Literary Review prize for fiction. You can find her on Twitter @avramargariti.

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