Holding Hela’s Hand

Bone fingers on mine as I shepherd ancestors
across the Veil, onto starry Death’s breast,
Hela grips my hand with ice and snowflakes,
her palms slide to my hips to ground my roots
as souls pour into me as black brilliant sparks
wreathed in white halos, flickering into light
Hela’s bosom is all Helheim, I drive in rainy
memories through those not yet in her kingdom,
first there is the overwhelming smell of decay,
a corpse baking sickly sweet in the summer sun,
slowly bodily fluids evaporate, bacteria feasts,
and the rot becomes wet dirt, Hela is beautiful
but does not shelter her girls from true passing
no antiseptic white wards here, just honorable
necrosis, hazy gray globes of eyes, bone white
hair that wreathes a half-flesh, half-frozen face
Hela smiles gently, and I become mist in her arms.

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