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Carson Pynes

Blood Eagle

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". . . and there are no footprints in the dust behind us . . ."

only a midnight sun.
The Vikings practiced
"blood eagle" –

a quick, sharp hatchet
to split the back ribs

(prisoner, alive)
remove lungs,
transform into wings.

Thick, wet blood
like sealingwax
on letters to the gods,

a God-sized hole
in the letters of ourselves.

When you glance behind
at where you thought you left me,

will you scrabble in the dust below,
will you freeze as my shadow falls across you?

Deirdre in the Lighthouse

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". . . they'd fizz like dead TV, unreel like falling snow . . ."

Near the river on the path through the woods,
there's a pair of gray and white Nikes, two runaways lost in the forest.

Blind Deirdre's memories unravel like stitches in
a pale garment made of spider silk and zinc.

She dreams it was foretold in the oracle bones,
backlit by the buzz and hiss

of lost broadcast signal. Little ghost voices
whispering her name.

She's old now, asleep in the chrysalis of TV light,
the dark woods distorted on the luminous screen,

while the half-bitten moon floats,
pale and bloated, above the helicopter.

They're interrogating the river for the body,
his shoes remain on the path near the bridge

while he's washed out to sea, bird bones bobbing
down past Deirdre in her lighthouse tower

there are no comets, no prophecy for him
just ice and static and the January soul –

A Long Walk through the woods,
A Trail of Tears, A Famine,

pebbles, seashells, meteors in our pockets,
breadcrumbs to guide us, or coins for the ferryman.

Girls' Night Out

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In the dead of night,
they came for the witches
with pitchforks and torches.

The beautiful young women of the village
came in the darkness,
with their ceremonial hair
and thick masks of makeup.

They dragged the three ugly women
from their houses, beat them savage
with handbags, lipstick-heavy,
stabbed them with vicious stiletto heels.

Next, they sprayed the three plain women
with sweet scent, hairspray --
the fire was terrorsome.

Electronic music gibbered
and screeched as the beautiful ones
twerked around the flames,
taking selfies.

In the pale morning light,
the pyre smouldered,
a charred pile of hair and clothing.

The fire consumed everything,
even the Facebook posts,
Until nothing at all remained.

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