You pin me not with grace but with ruin, and your body is black smoke like frankincense crisps from a vestibule – vessel – vassal of sin and my ruin. Pale skin like a waning moon brimming with abyssal sorrow, your eyes are red craters, and your heart just a mockingbird pressed to my breast. Your fingers are inside me reaching through my womb up my guts to my brains and from them you pluck all reason, and I lick blood from your lips and it is black as a beetle. Creeping things are rot inside you, and the maggots of your lungs spew from your lips and drown me – I’m deepthroating decay, and it is sickly sweet as roadkill and lesions and necrosis. I thought we broke up, didn’t we? Why are you making the two-backed beast with me after I trashed your wedding ring as if nothing happened? I’m not saying no, and your tongue is slithering snake down my throat and your manhood is the night and your cum freezes my innards until I become Nyx, cold and unmoving. Your cloak envelops us, and it is the same Grim Reaper robe I played with at 12 on October nights when the autumn was filled with secrets. I would wrap myself in your musk and spin circles around your pile of bones as you sharpened a scythe with a whetstone. Your scythe is black, but the one you gifted me is white, just like my deathly robes – cream and satin roses, all softness to your harshness. Your brother set wards up all over my room in red blood and ceremonial sigils, but the gods and angels let you return over and over again, and I no longer have an altar to you, so maybe taking your gall into my crevasses is some kind of lesson. All I know is that you are half bone like Hela and half flesh like a warrior, and as I trace phalanges and scapula, your calcium is slick with tears, and I pull you close and kiss the emptiness of your heart hollow, and I am the mistress of nocturnal emissions.
I eat up the Skirnismal and Lokasenna, the Voluspa and sagas, but to the sacred gods of the North, I can’t get through the fucking Havamal. It bores me to tears. If I wanted to hear Odin lecturing me I could literally just talk to him. He has me screaming Ansuz half the time in dreams and chasing after him in the Northern Lights with Geri and Freki, not to mention the two months he drove me into near shamanic sickness when I started crushing on my boyfriend, an Odinsman. There would be times where I would dream of Odin nightly, seeing him about 20 times throughout the day.
I gave him blood offerings. I wrote him poetry. I half-wondered if I would end up like Freya Aswynn. Finally he gave me a vision of the horn he wants me to carve him for East Coast Thing. I mean, he’s not demanding I build him a hof yet like my SO or return his sword, but godsdamnit, is Odin sassy. Flip him off and he takes it as a compliment, I swear to all the Aesir and Vanir, Odin is wily, stubborn, demanding, and him sending me a dream of me being his skald in a past life traveling Scandinavia with an Aslaug style harp singing of Odin’s deeds was really, REALLY overkill.
I have a great respect for Odin, of course, as the Alfather of my religion, but what I love most is his sense of humor.
He also wants me to read the Havamal.
I was out to dinner with my kindred on Thursday and joked I was allergic to the Havamal. That night, I dreamed I was in the Arctic, with Odin fishing in a fjord. Odin’s twinkling blue eye was snaked with secrets. I sat on a rock and watched him cast his lure into the sea:
Allie: “What are you fishing for?”
Odin: “Jormungand. Thor wasn’t feeling up to the task.”
He winked and reeled in a tuna.
Allie: “Very funny. Odin, I feel stressed. I have a bunch of homework to do and a heavy taskload this semester. What do I do?”
Odin: “Well, you can start by reading the Havamal. You are incredibly lazy, Allie. Also, you procrastinate, and you are flighty as Loki. You need to find balance and push yourself without breaking. All the answers are in the Havamal.”
Allie: “Oh god!”
Odin: (Starts spitting out Havamal verses)
Odin: “Wake early if you want another man’s life or land. No lamb for the lazy wolf. No battle’s won in bed. Stop sleeping in and wasting the day away. Stop spending all your money on frivolous objects. You are as vain as Freyja. Take to task your flaws and fix them!”
Allie: “Fine, I’ll read it!”
Guess I’m off to read Odin’s rant.
You drag me around by a golden braid set to strangle
I crash into the floors, pound walls, smash windows,
I break free of your chains and say, nevermore shall
you bruise me and batter me, I cascade out the door
go soaring towards freedom, but junkie demons prowl,
light up a joint, drag me into their Jaguar, speeding
through summer, I clock them and run, fly to the ruins
where your heart is in glass, hellish processions parade
through the mausoleum, turn salt water ice, I freeze
under the gaze of giants, and you are cherry red eyes,
black helm, ears like razors, black cloak of midnight,
I strike your chest with a silver hammer to reveal rot
just a rib cage and spine, you choke me and caress me
say I am the battle prize, place me in your abyssal
void so that my gods are safe from your stain, I the
Valkyrie that plunges into your abyss to banish you,
we are moon dust and rockets, we kiss on a crash site,
a crater our bed, I exorcise all earthly blood in you
there are shark teeth at my neck and I fight with lips
that lock onto danger, I shield the world from your sin,
destroy you, erasure, and the green earth is whole again.
Angels resolve into air, and Judas
betrayed with a kiss, roses only
blossom at midnight in Eden, and
I am damned off silver Roman coins.
Be gentle, angel, make peace, devil,
splayed between two swords are moons
spent crying over knights and dragons
I enchant with words but bleed regret.
I will serve no master but the mother
of all life, all death, all kennings –
brothers of good and evil, child’s play
can lovers fathom a girl of two worlds?
The Creator is bread unto dust, I eat
at her breast, I die in her arms unmade
for I could spend all my life chasing you
two, pinning feathers on boards, for what?
Black and white make a mobile of wishes,
but there is no clear victor at the end,
just pain, just sacrifice, just decisions
that shatter all worlds: I forgive, forget.
I rush to one’s arms, then the others’,
find solace in the Styx and Euphrates,
swim and burn and fly and sink into wax
for candles reveal broken promises vast-
Vast as oceans of time freewheeling across
clash of ego and chains and bindings, both
wolf and lion serve the same king, so why
should I prostrate myself before a beast?
Yeshua hung, but I burned, the Antichrist
bled, but I fractured, and New Eve weeps
at all the failings of her children, still,
she gives, and gives, and sings lullabies
as her heart breaks open
and shatters like glass
and the past is gulls
over an empty
I am underwater in the glimmering void, in shoals of sheets that pull me down to a bed strung with pearls that become necklaces to my hooked throat. You are the abyss, tentacles of destruction and devil eyes and ink-black tongue. Tendrils of darkness lick my spine, and I run my hands down shoulder blade spikes of ruin, you eldritch Beast that I mount. You know I would gladly bed any monster I met and so you come to me as a vehicle of terror, a mechanic of opening star’s hearts with razor black hole teeth and sucking out the life force of universes. Your mouth is like a lamprey’s, a gut filled with shark teeth ringing a suction that latches onto my breast and drinks blood. You lulled me to sleep with painful bites on heaving flesh and underwater vent orgasms and now we join at midnight, twenty leagues below. This is a Satanic Hokusai painting, and I am a Fisherman’s Wife, dreaming of her own destruction at the hand of Leviathan. Because you are Leviathan, aren’t you, and I’m romancing a sea serpent, speared on fins and webbed hands that fuck the living daylights out of me. I once dreamed I was the priestess of a merman with a sea serpent tail and hair like kelp. We rutted on crashing waves and tidal rocks on the sea strand and I woke up tasting brine. Now I taste seawater. This time Leviathan pulled me into his lair, and he is fishing in my throat with gnashing teeth and seaweed spit. I ride him, we are at the bottom of Charybdis, and as he thrusts into me with the anger of the sea, with the lust of a killer whale chasing flirtatious dolphins, I just laugh and my voice bubbles in this galaxy of water. I’m a friend of nonexistence, the outer boundaries where lovers dissolve into each other then die as le petit mort drags them into Apollyon’s shark tank. We hold hands and it’s sentimental coming from a sea monster, but I’ve fucked worse, I’ve fucked better, and I’m sincerely fucked up, just for you. Who else would lay with Lotan? Who else beds Yam? Only a girl that wants to drown. I drink down your seed and it is cold like the Atlantic. It washes over me like a tsunami and I smear it over my sex and wake up wet, but it’s less from coming and more from being a shipwreck. Call me Calypso, call me crazy, but storms adrift the deep are the perfect place to swim.
Dawn breaks over the sea strand, the Lion of God
is lord of the sun and the waters, elemental king.
Fire is also his domain, and as flames lick feet
his mane is bright bonfire, shift from beast to
man, man to beast, blond hair a windswept halo,
tanned as wood grain, eyes the blue of lost days.
We walk amidst the strand, froth kisses our ankles
hand in hand with my childhood idol, morning star
Ariel, Ariel, you were always there in my girlhood
I rode your wings through Milky Way fractal spills
you taught me to hold a sword too large for a child
to fight for my passions, to salvage the ruins of
war and find beauty, you were there in the torments
of playground battles and cruelties of childhood,
“Be strong,” you would say, “Be brave, I love you.”
I sang songs to you before I knew what worship was
just that you were my better half, master defender,
older brother cut from the same quick-kindle cloth
I was in such awe of you at seven, moreso at twelve,
for by then I knew you had your own monsters, and I
would hold back your hair as you cried into Hell,
comb girlish promises of spring into a soldier braid
you’re always the first on the battlefield, brash roar
of courage and recklessness, sometimes we would crash
and in the ruin of our blood and feathers, we laughed.
Just when I think we’ve hit the razor’s edge,
that I can finally leave you, my heart aches,
my soul bends like a willow tree by the river,
I was a foolish Eve, to run from the serpent,
and though the archangels and I bind you from
doing harm, cleanse the Mem from your curse,
begin to wipe you from existence, obliterate
all succor you will ever find, my love drums
and the ceremonial sphere of banishment breaks
I run to the center where you are stretched out
in agony, pulsing with blinding supernovalight,
and all I do is hold you, I kiss you fiercely, I
never had a chance of not forgiving you, again
and again, and the Prince of Angels lowers his
burning sword, and it is just us in a sea of
white feathers, there is still goodness in you,
you are selfish, cruel, but you can bend too,
the apple tree whose boughs I sprung from, I
am Queen of Cups, you the repentant Devil, you
hold me to you like I am air twenty leagues
below any chance of redemption, your lifeline,
and I reel us back up to the surface of sanity,
my fault is I will always forgive you, in the
space of old attics where memories are collected,
yellowed pictures of life after life with you,
why I feel fondness for you, why I love our fights,
perhaps it is because I love pain, and you bring
bruises and sweetness like an overripe pear, I
wear my scars like stilettos, you my open wound
I am a bleeding heart Magdalene of seven demons,
but you are the king of my ruin, and my rebirth,
I always die in your arms to wake in the next life
and just when I think I have rid myself of you,
I come rushing back to soothe your night terrors
you will never deserve me, but I still love you,
thirst for you, you are my ultimate bane, and my
first lesson in quieting madness and monstrous
psychosis, and as we embrace in the maelstrom,
I know I could never leave you, though angry words
will always be hurled, I will always fight you,
you were my first love, my last ruin, and how
could a canary leave the coal mine she guards?
I love you, I care for you, and someday you will
not be the Scapegoat, Sael, not Samael, until then
I cleanse your snakeskins with lye, and I am Sigyn
in the pits of your dripping poison, Victory Woman,
Chain Breaker, I know magic now, I can tame you,
and finally, we are equals, and though I offer you
trinkets to beautify an ancient altar, I still need
time to grow, to find myself in phoenix born ashes
you my purifying flame and childhood bittersweetheart
I gather roses for you: I will only give you flowers
we are family, after all, and blood thicker than Styx
waters, you my shadow and id, Samael, please – be kind.