Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Abandoned Hour

In the embankment of Melangell’s skirts a few dry bones gather. They are desperate for meat, they are desperate for meat’s protection, its lush embrace. We could flood them out. We could send dogs after them, we think; it is our one and royal prerogative, and there are many of us: we are, in fact, a legion. Everyone has a duty in the forest, everyone has his assigned office around which quarry rotates, the object of the hunt. It’s centripetal in this way, our lives, the ideas we may permit of death, or recompense. In the breeze of the clearing a susurration: the bones, her stone skirt, perhaps her stone lips blown into, like a shell. Are we cast up or cast off, inquire our best philosophers, carving more flesh from the feast’s portable stanchion. It is dusk. The bones cluster and scrape in Melangell’s shadow, its lengthening bruise. We are desperate for rest, for the sweet milk of rest. The dogs whimper. A prince adjusts his golden crown. Melangell, being stone, does not turn, or not toward us. We have not loved mercy enough.  

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