And confessed the sins of winter.
They smell like rare raven orchids,
A black sand volcano beach.
They zig-zag like the bone collector spider
Of Costa Rican caves,
Ink-faced, jewel-backed, suction-footed.
They eat crumbled crusts of questions
Like emaciated crows
Down from the ice-crippled tree.
They follow me
Like a militant swarm of bees.
I will never
Surrender them to the authorities,
Dissect them to learn their biology,
Attempt to remedy them with light.
Some mortician will have to pry them
From my clenched fists,
The shadows your body made
On my ghost-white flesh
The day I knelt beside you
Rebecca Lu Kiernan has published in MS. MAGAZINE, ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION and numerous other magazines and books in the U.S. and Australia. Her poetry collection, "Sex with Trees and Other Things Equally Responsive" was published by 2 River Press. Canada's YGDRASIL published her erotic fiction, The Man Who Remembered Too Much She was nominated for the Rhysling award for her science fiction work, "When a Snake Bites You in the Ass". She lives on the Gulf Coast.