Along the banks of the river
(the only river that matters)
we feast on bread and water
lush fruits and sour tears
the sweat, the heartache, the accounting
of others who leave us flush
with adoration.

Their prayers are the currency, their children
the paper, the coin. Between vesper and matin,
vigil and laud, we call, we summon, we keen
wet mouths and open, blood-soaked hands. At dusk,
between whispers and sage, smudge sticks and rendered wax,
we bathe, we bless, we disappear, returning with the darkness
like sleep to smoke and mirrors.

Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis,
enemies at best, sister-lovers at worst,
competing for limited real estate, angling for vestal
compensation. Among us you tremble, offer
your first-born, your mother, her friends;
when all we want is peace
when all we need is silence.

[Lynette Mejia writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror prose and poetry from the middle of a deep, dark forest in the wilds of southern Louisiana. Her work has been nominated for the Rhysling Award and the Million Writers Award. You can find her online at]