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 FruitIdeomancerStone TellingBull Spec and Inksprawl.  She can be found on Livejournal at,  or followed on Twitter at mari_ness.  She lives in central Florida.

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