Marrying Spirit: A Song for Bawon Samedi

When I left my first husband, no pawn shop
would buy the ring: sapphire and diamond
scrawl, elegant ivy.

With rum, with tobacco, with the varied charms
of my small, stricken heart, I found another:
rush of breathing,

alive and full of life’s blush, the ring, startled
and blue, slipped from my fingers.  He
grasped, sweetly,

the bones of his fingers a groom’s trembling
shyness.  Others, hear: rings are not wise cemetery

gifts.  Bury them, yes, bury them and you
are bought; he, taller than the trees, his top
hat canted.

There is no hallowed space he does not find
me, live bride; though no regrets linger,
his mouth is

bone and ash, his trunk the promise of all
rotten, growing things, his marriage bed,
no small trifle.

Young, bright girl, tread lightly. I watch
from the cemetery gate. I follow home,
my mouth

spilling purple with roses. Keep your
breathing lover. Leave my husband’s
bones alone:

his shade is dark, damp lit, Eternal,
and not for you to own.

[Alicia Cole lives in Lawrenceville, GA, with a photographer, their cat Hatshepsut, and two schools of fish.  She enjoys birdwatching, divination, and listening to the wind.  Her fiction and poetry have appeared in multiple print and online journals, most recently or forthcoming in Paper Crow,Star*LineGoblin FruitAbyss & Apex and Aoife’s Kiss.  She keeps a journal.]

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