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She Lay Curled In An Animal’s Trench

She lay curled in an animal’s trench
Soft shed hair helped keep her warm.
She patted the ground hoping for lion
but most likely flighty hyena lay here.
She pulled in handfuls of dust and chaff,
plucked shallow weeds.
They smelled of old blood and broken loyalty.

Obsidian sky dripped malachite meteors,
low slow and long.
Chandeliers of stars once reflected in the pond
that lay east of her chin
But the water was gone
consumed by tongue and air.

Rested, she rose and twisted tufts of weed and hyena
into her hair.
She spat into the sandy earth and ground it in her palms,
painting the four points on her face.
She continued her long walk west back to the sorting place
determined to be a mirthless, disobedient beast
until the sun came back to retrieve her.

(Persephone’s Staircase)