Pixies and Priests
Lass, with her hair all in knots of forgettable lilac twirls
and smelling of the riverbed in May when the sister died young –
though she was warm in her bed.

hero-worshiping, he wallops
the heavy morning mist like a husk,
a chunk of crab grass,
his velveteen slippers prance into the road diverging –
divertiamo, early monastic plibbertigibbet,
well-versed in ecclesiastical plague-ridden verbatim,
missing, half gaped-toothed,
marred in a moot point and sizzling in bacon grease

in her hair,
Lass reiterates the stranger pulp nonfiction of each well-flowered huntsmen –
she has dipped each of her tiny fingers into their boiling cauldrons,
stomped footpaths across their hairlines,
in sighting the younger ones into fits of riddles,
while their young brides are lulled into sleep by her lullabies that the moon is a wife, as well

as the man in his tattered rose-hip-rosary-prayer filled parapet,
the pendulum swings,
cannot burn the bodies of the dead,
faces them east in the ground,
faints from the smell,
raise hand up,
then down,
back, and across, slowly,
the village bows heads,
men pull water pitchers from the riverbed, don't notice

Lass as she dances,
finds herself infanticidal by the tree lines of the greenwood,
forgets the world in her slow copper-toned minuet,
partners changing with the season,
or the way that she curls up into the mouths of the nightingales in winter,
already full from the milk of mothers and lazy from lack of cackling

in the face of the priest,
walks back, roads disavowed, black death clutch,
the highwaymen grown rich on the abandoned welfare of the wealthy dead.
The crossroads veer outward,
stars perturbed from the lingering night candle in the tower,

and Lass sleeps on

a/n: written for the April WCC.