by Mari Ness
Every fall, without fail
she kills her son. Sometimes
they vary the date, allow him
to catch a movie first
before the long fall
into the cold rivers
still flowing outside belief
in the pale underearth.
Every spring, he climbs
through hardened stone
and fails to meet her eyes.
He protests when she pulls out
the old stone knife, places it
beside his leg. No one believes
the tales anymore, he says,
that she bore him from an almond nut,
of a tree grown from a goddess both woman and man,
that he must die to bring the snows.
Those old stones, those old tales —
all trapped in cold museums, or caught
in multilingual lawsuits.
Surely, this winter things can change.
Surely, this winter he can see the snow.
She picks up the knife, and feels her hand move
toward his chest.
Even writing poetry has not cured Mari Ness of her obsession with the music of words. Her other poems have appeared in such places as Goblin Fruit, Ideomancer, Stone Telling, Bull Spec and Inksprawl. She can be found on Livejournal at mariness.livejournal.com, or followed on Twitter at mari_ness. She lives in central Florida.