Standing transfixed,
faced southward where the
horses shiver in the shadows
and where fingers become
magnolia vines -

she was once an orchard;
with her ribbon hair and
subservient eyelashes;

slashing her tongue
violently at the water
where the boatman
sings: c'est loups contre
and she understands
only enough to eclipse
herself in forward motion;
the momentum of
current becoming a life
force to keep blood pulsing
and plunging through her
bony limbs, though thoughts
fall from her lips like
the sand through her hands
as she plows a ravine with her
feet -

stepping, ever around herself
where nothing grows from
the dry, barren teeth
of the river Styx;

though Agamemnon
bristles atop the boat
chanting Wagnerian
wedding marches, though
she has wed herself long
ago to the agrarian slope;
to the bark and thistle briar

and soon she knows her
limbs too will become the water;

become the water
until she can swallow herself whole.

a/n: c'est loups contre loups: wolf against wolf.