Mireille Astore

Blood and Myrrh


Another piercing.

This time to take something out.

Squatting amongst velvet walls

a forgotten body of water

has stagnated

with the passing of the months.


She did not know

it was there

she had been swimming

watching the horizon swell

mistaking it for a life form.


Now, they slide and they stir

just behind the clamped opening

key after key

Oh! what froth

to tantalise the waiting crowd!


It will come

they tell her

with a feeling of something pushing

her legs apart.


Not at all

with the pain

once green, once red

flashing against the needles

and the chemistry.


The invasion begins

emptying her body

only her ears are left intact

to listen to the rustling

of the plastic sheeting beneath her.


And the hushed voices,

they keep caressing a shell

made of a thin membrane

a mother has woven

on another planet

another bed

another time.


The counting of the ghosts

the ebb and flow of the fists

no, not yet

bruises have not yet formed

on her forehead, her arms

her breasts and her thighs.


She has to wait

for the ceremonial floods

for the tearing of the soaked skin

for the carcass with the kohl

in its eyes.


Nothing, nothing

the gloved hands

open and shut

open and shut

escape, escape

blood and myrrh

and all the way down to hell.


But the sky


rewards her with the putrid jewel

a crown, a rope

a lost totem

it leaves her blind, deaf and mute.


And lucky they tell her

that her night has ended

before dawn

twisted from the deluge

and with no air for it to breathe.


She can go home now.

©Mireille Eid