I was not a bird

Allison Grayhurst


I was not a bird


or a bride

but wedded to the thick masculine

thighs of war, a priest of the dead –

myself a small idol that gathered a

kingdom of followers. I had but one lover,

a soul drenched with my own – long hair

and pretty eyes, a man of calm devotion, while

I enjoyed my blonde hair soaked

with my conquered enemy’s blood.

I enjoyed the cries of pursuit

and the galloping of hooves on foreign sands.

I was not driven by the robe or the snake charmer’s

deep throttle. I was fresh, never a victim of fear,

writhing with rage like a piranha plucked from the waters.

In the daylight, I was whole. At night, my lover

kissed my ring, my arms and forehead. We made love

with everything left to give to only each other –

two, dying young in a tent…

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