April Fools

Well hey — did you hear the one
About that time shining Baldr died
Pierced through the breast
By humble mistletoe?
That was me!
Fine cherub-faced Loki
Trickiest of all the trickster gods
You are bound to see.
It’s okay — you can hate me
It’s easy to scapegoat the kooky
And, as you may know
I’ve been called effeminate
And I’m a bit of a gender bender
And I am not ashamed —
Why ought I be?
I — sweet, cherub-faced Loki
Who brought into the gods’ hands
All their greatest gifts
and weapons
and tools
and finery
I, who brought them laughter
And made them sing
Who dressed Thor as
A beautiful jötunn queen —
I — Great Loki
When Frigga came a-calling
Tears upon her cheeks
Begging sweet Baldr’s release from Death’s embrace
I was the last upon whom she called.
Dressed in widower’s clothes I told her
“Let Death have Her due”
And so sealed shining Baldr’s graceless fate
O, what a grand joke it was, besides.
My daughter Death does deserve her due.
Oh yes — I am Loki, fair-faced Loki
Of the fiery hair—
Oh yes—I say to you — I am engaged in
Liminal things — in the breeding of monsters
And the loving of dwarves
And the fluidity between fe- and -male
And thievery and jokes —
How thou dost love to laugh at me.
But remind me this — with a glance, pointed, to Odin—
Am I the only one sharing in this glory
Who has engaged in liminal things?
Am I the only one sharing in this glory —
Sayeth I, sharp-pointed glance to Freyja —
Who has engaged in delightful whoring?
Now no one laughs —
Now no one laughs.
When I remind us all from whose loins
Mighty Thor Jötunnsbane hath slipped
(pst, here’s a hint:
she was a giantess)
Or call to mind the treachery
This hall does house.
No one’s laughing now.
No one’s laughing now —
They’ve yet to find
Such truth as I have always divined:
The trick we tricksters know, you see
Is that life is little more
Than joking.
But no one’s laughing now.
With all truths spoken fair
Tis high time someone answered
For that time shining Baldr died.
No one’s laughing now and
Come sundown
Will be lost.

[Tahni J. Nikitins is a student of Comparative Literature and Creative Writing. In fall her essay “The Deconstruction of Narrative Framing in David Markson’s ‘Wittgensteins’s Mistress’” will be published through the department of comparative literature’s annual journal Nomad and she plans on finishing her degree in Sweden. Some of her fiction and poetry has been featured in HuginnLilith: Queen of the Desert and Unto Herself: A Devotional Anthology for Independent Goddesses. She can be found at http://musing-ramblings.blogspot.com/ and tahnijnikitins.deviantart.com.]