The Interstitial Fairy Demolition Crew Casts a Circle

Where the highway bends its shoulder
into heaping piles of trash —
Where the warehouse hulks, abandoned,
baring teeth of broken glass —
Where the concrete cracks and crumbles
like a scab upon the soil
and Blue Flax mingles in the wrack
with Scarlet Sage and Cinquefoil —
There the dark sidhe, born in cities
murmur their destructive prayers
for bottle shards and brittle plastic,
rusting bumpers, flattened tires.
There they sow a creeping ivy
over buildings thus defiled
and call the wolves to come and wander
in those places, newly wild.

In the East (Somewhere Near St. Clair Shores):
Now comes Smoke Stack to begin,
gray and gritty son of Wind,
and ask his mother for a boon.

“Bring the cleansing tempest soon:
“Guardian of the East, Watchtower of Air,
gather my corruption into your lungs,
flay it from my body and blow me out,
a white death wind, a fury that rends.
So mote it be.”

And the host echoes, “So mote it be.”

In the South (Inside the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel):
Now comes Gas Line to the game,
canny keeper of the Flame,
to beg her mother’s charity.

“Make the city burn with me:
“Guardian of the South, Watchtower of Fire,
caress, with your flickering fingers
the fissures where I whisper out,
aching to be set alight, to rage bright.
So mote it be.”

And the host echoes, “So mote it be.”

In the West (Between Novi and Walled Lake):
Now comes Acid Rain to weep,
bitter daughter of the Deep,
and call her mother’s killing flood.

“Bathe the pavement in your blood:
“Guardian of the West, Watchtower of Water,
spit me like a poison onto the boulevard,
and drench the rot my spatter quickens;
a slick, brown spray, a sweet decay.
So mote it be.”

And the host echoes, “So mote it be.”

In the North (Atop the Empty Chrysler Factory in Pontiac):
Now comes Weed to climb the wall,
green-limbed cleric of the Fall,
and lift his leaves up to the sun.

“Mother Earth, thy will be done:
“Guardian of the North, Watchtower of Earth,
shepherd the whiskered scavengers here,
sweep the winged beasts to my shelter;
a cave and aerie, a sanctuary.
So mote it be. The circle is cast.”

And the host echoes, “So mote it be. The circle is cast.”

Their voices die, and in the gap
between that moment and the next,
Air and Water, Fire and Earth
descend from their exalted rest
to bless the host and move upon
the city, heavy with disease;
a zephyr breath, a morning dew,
a shaft of light, a flight of bees
that bring the succor of the world
to all the kindred ravaged there;
the withered oak, the riven deer,
the blighted fae absorbed in prayers,
which echoed, as a threnody,
their mothers’ elemental woe —
for children past the reach of hope
whose sorrow we will never know.

[CS MacCath’s poetry and fiction have appeared in Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction: 13 Prize Winning Tales, Murky Depths, Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit and others. At present, she is working on the first is a nine-novel space opera entitled Petals of the Twenty Thousand Blossom and a collection of short stories entitledSpirit Boat. You can find her online.]

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