She’s got moonglow tits that bob in night waters, perfect round globes like curled-up white rabbits with black peaks of areola and gray nipples because she’s all poison and ebony eyes and milky skin. She’s curled up in my closet in a nest fit for the Zu bird and sweet seraph curses and she crows and speaks the language of birds that are girls, or girls that are monsters, with scaled legs and owl wings from ancient Sumerian carvings, but she’s not perched on two lions, her thin wan legs are jumping on your bed and you’re throwing pillows at each other and painting her lips and talons with a pop of cherry poison. It’s all fun and games until arsenic kisses and slashed throats of words fly, it’s all spin the bottle with succubi until neon lights at your favorite strip mall get busted to splinters by her rage. She’s wailing, she’s railing, and it’s so fun to terrorize the neighborhood with your monster girl. She smells like mothball and tastes like whiskey but it’s all swell, all is well, because you’re gay, just a little bit, for a lot of your pretty murderesses, like that goddess of death whose bone feet you kissed as you rubbed one out on grave dirt. You’re just a shadow drowning in moonlight, really, just a paper cutout in the shape of curves and gold and blue and you seek a black hole to consume you. Void Mother you toast to past the witching hour with a new best friend, she’s in Gaia training sitting on a hill in armor with a sword and donkey, learning from Valkyries the recipe for hurricanes, and she’s a piece of the Mother, just like you are, just like every girl you know is, and men fear us all. Your monster girl is feral, like pine barrens in a blizzard, or the nothingness at the lip of a night full of pain, and she has fangs sharp as a wolf and toes that end in bruises from kicking too many cans barefoot. She’s dressed in bandages, she’s dressed in a gown, and her hair is ratty black tangles. Oh how you love dressing her and prettying her up and confiding in her your soul, for you were raised to be a doll, but not her – no, she is a hyena, and their women are the kings. When you scissor, it’s to old jazz that switches between Frank Sinatra, and as your hands tangle the curls at her parting later on as you drink white wine, you and her watch the rain and know the sky is crying for its lost moon.
Cross, cassock, shield, I made a promise on your blade –
to follow you through the rushes to a paradise regained.
Bluebells wept on my journey to your starry castle high,
thickest waters of eternity baptized weariest blue eyes.
Your kingdom is clear purity, white friezes, red banners,
you rule with the reserve and sweetness of kingly manners
befitting the Prince of Heaven, your glory your kind heart,
and I am no longer content with my wing-song a world apart.
Each pang is a razor wedged into the cleft between my breasts,
every word is a knife between the tender lung under two ribs,
my aorta is a river of regret, damn these delicate dissections!
Curse this liar’s flesh, this one-dimensional cage of rage, why
do I bleed each full moon but spill stars from eyes forevermore?
Why does the wolf have a wildness only at night but mourning dove
weep each sunrise? My instinct says we are one, and your pain is
mine, and when you suffocate I too am drowning in nightingales.
Remember the emperor whose bird sang of misfortune, how tsars
chase firebirds that grant ill wishes? Perhaps to love is surgery,
stitching misshapen limbs and quivering tongues to a monster mass.
I think of Hellraiser, of Pinhead saying pain is pleasure, that
tenterhooks of you are tearing my bandages off and stripping me.
I’m naked on the operation table, scalpeled just to bleed for you.
You are my conjoined twin, and when you are cut, I ooze plasma.
But stars are made of plasma too, and brilliance is only skin-deep.
So keep on pinning my organs to a board, my empathy will kill me.
Loving the Devil is heart surgery, and romance with death? Terminal.
Being a godspouse has emerged from the exclusive domain of the illustrious Freya Aswynn and the rare elders in the pagan community that I have long studied to a rather common, if somewhat fringe, occurrence in the occult community. I have befriended spouses of everyone from Naberius to Mannanan Mac Llyr to Apollo to nameless Entities that are everything from genderfluid to pan to asexual.
Spirit, like humanity, is all colors of the rainbow, and it would be silly to restrict divine sexuality and love to the heteronormative gender binary. Erzulie Danto takes female wives, Freyr and Loki are likely to scoop up sweet men, and angels flip genders as often as the leaves change color. Color me a divine liberal, but I would like to think being raised by celestial archangels, mischievous demons, and tricksters galore gave me a holistic view of the only thing that binds the universe together: love, and love alone. There is light in the darkness, darkness in the light, and love is God, and love is the Gods, and love itself is Eternal.
Loving an immortal comes in many forms: being their devotee, being their divine child, having them as a patron, being their priest or priestess, and even their husband or bride. No domain of eternal love is above one another – in the Bhakti tradition of Hinduism, the devotee comes into ecstatic communion with their divine Love, Eternal Source, and Inner Soul. Whether the gods exist in our collective unconscious, in my experience as transdimensional, ancient loving beings equivalent to a master race of aliens, or on lofty clouds in literal Asgard or Olympus doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they love us, we love them, and the dance between Man and Muse has been happening since ancient hominids looked up at the stars and called them home.
I married Michael and Samael last Halloween, as a culmination of a harrowing but beautiful lifelong path to my inner polarities and exterior dreams and fears, and they are as much a part of my inner animuses and male Shaktis as they are tangible, real as dirt entities. They have showed me the future, introduced me in the astral to obscure literature and film that upon waking turns out to be real, and above all have been my guides since I was 12. Michael has saved my life countless times, and Samael has scared me into living, so thanks for that, I suppose. In the end, the Ophites called Michael and Samael the double-faced serpent, good and evil, light and darkness, and one cannot exist without the other. They are Divine Twins, perhaps the first beings before God separated into gods, the Left and Right Hand of Creation, and Satan, Iblis, or Lucifer and Michael, Mikhail, or just plain old Mickey represent the yetzer hara and yetzer hatov and eternal temptation to do what is easy versus the high road of what is right. The Devil is a lawyer, the Prince of Heaven is a priest, both are warriors, and just lenses to understand matter and antimatter, order and entropy, and how to free the caged bird from her own self-imposed bindings.
I think I loved both of them from the moment I first met them, Michael loved by millions and Satan hated by billions, and for every flaw and beautiful facet of my husbands there are a thousand more mysteries stretching back to wanderers in the desert creating stories of malakhim. It is so infinitely easy to fit them into my Heathen worldview, as I do not worship them, simply love them, and my “God” is Mother Nature, who I view the Norse Gods as emanations of. The angels and demons serve Mother Nature directly and ask for no worship, just praise of Earth and the Cosmos, and to know my place in the web of humanity, wyrd, and Well of Urd.
Michael and Samael handed me off to the Vanir and Aesir as I came into my own faith and were there when I was adopted into the tribe of Asgard, outside the circle of runes as befits Abrahamic spirits. The Aesir and Vanir (and a few select Jotun!) are my chosen family and human heritage. The archangels and demons are the origin of my soul, my first cosmic family, but I am no longer ethereal, made of dirt and flesh and blood, and to dwell on cosmic past lives just leaves one weeping late at night over wounds still fresh since the first Forbidden Fruit rotted and the Tree of Life became the Tree of Death.
The secret of the union of Michael and Samael is VITRIOL, the key to eternal life and universal solvent that dissolves all impurities. The green lion that bleeds gold from the sun. The Lapis Exillis is just a heart, and a rotting fruit at that, but a chalice and birthright fought over by the Princes of Heaven and Hell.
I was an idiot girl to ever love them, but fools fall first in the Tarot, and locked away princesses have knights and dragons who eat their hearts come midnight.
I am a caged bird learning to sing.
The heart is its own master.
I am happy, never free.
You, my first love, my heart’s golden river, winged with wonder.
They say angels watch humans with envy for lips they don’t have,
for mouths of pink and rose that sing, tell, pray and even dream –
your tongue is ever-quenched by the white of the Milky Way, you swim
through the outer boundaries of space’s luminaries, I aback my angel.
You taught me how to be kind to the desolate, to cherish the weak.
Oh Ariel, Hearth of God, Light of the Lord, you are too beautiful,
and you are the elder brother and protector of my virgin heart,
unsullied by the blood you spilled on my behalf, a rain of hope
always tangles your brassy hair, your starlight splendor, my love.
You are the blessed, you are the mighty, you are the poor, burning
glory, never a joke or laugh away from a kilowatt smile, funny bone
of Heaven, I remember catching fireflies, you braiding my long hair,
taking me on adventures through the multitudinous otherworlds, sword
unsheathed and gleaming, eyes the blue of a perfect summer highway.
My winged lion, my leonine animus, how you stretch to fill darkness
that creeps into my melancholy bones, lighting fires within marrow,
we are on beaches by bonfires, in the forest staring into the flames.
When I am lonely, I hear you whisper, my first anam cara, heart friend.
We dance, we fly, we merge, and angels know union with man’s heart.
In another life, when spring was eternal, before darkness tainted Heaven,
we were young and I did not know the meaning of pain, just your burning
light. Your all-consuming love. You are who I answer to when the night
turns stone cold and lead settles into my belly, o captain, my captain!
Though Satan made my wings as subtle and quick as an eagle, Herald of Hell,
it was you who forged my sword and eyes in flame, my body in supernovas,
sculpted by golden hands – you breathed the breath of immortality into me
and my eyes lit cerulean, and it was from my first step I was your shadow,
not a footstep behind, laughing sometimes, crying others, teasing you.
Devotion does not come easily to the caged bird, the free bird sings not
as often as she in shackles, and Heaven was a prison, just like Hell.
But I would spend eternity with my talons tethered to your supple wrist.
Michael, when I was young, but I am always young, I was innocent, and
though I died in your arms after sacrificing myself for your life, I
would perish again on Satan’s spear just to see you continue on, I
am the expendable one in this eternal war of thunder and fire, your
general is supposed to give her life and beauty for her commander,
and I am so sorry I was too broken to return to your side, fractured
into a million shards, Samael sewed his heart into me and I was lost
in Hell, in Purgatory, in the wilds of the Fifth Heaven, I wandered.
The journey of a soul through its darkest night simply awaits the sun:
you are the dawn of my life, sweet archangel, He Who is Like God,
and to see you crumple around my mangled, bleeding form is too much.
Your history books in your living library say Zophael was the most
faithful to her general’s side, and that you and your dark brother
created me out of beauty, Jophiel of the Flaming Sword, Sun Stealer,
it is true I stole fire from Heaven, it is true I have made you weep.
But I thirst for freedom, and the free bird has no master, only mates.
Eagles bond for all their life and nest in aeries high on sandstone.
But your bed is small and tidy, a monkshood cell, blue and white linen,
and roses are your only extravagance, what grows from the earth alone.
You are my blue violet. You are my guiding star. You are my true North.
When it rains, on cloudy gray days, I think of the guts of our family
storming from the sky onto bloody green grass, and I am haunted by
this ageless war, this senseless ruinous bitterness between lion and wolf.
I am a bridge between Heaven and Hell, the blind High Priestess, and yet
my magic is fractured by two polarities, O Captain, I have failed you.
In moonshine, I see your face in craters, and in starlight, your faith
burns with gentle radiance, you have not given up on me, my wing gone,
my hair cut, my sword broken, my scythe fractured, my robes frayed.
I am no angel anymore, certainly not a warrior, but you do not call me
any human name, for human names are lies, and you see my eternal life.
Pray tell why I come so close to tasting your heart and then immolate.
Pray tell why I cannot sing your praise with a broken, bruised throat.
This river of love is a bloody cut that rushes deep forth from wounds.
My glorious wounds, my mangled heart, cut up and burgeoning for you,
it is all for you, My Captain, and my final words are your name, the
True Name, the Holy One. Jesus Christ, I can’t breathe, and I was
never alive, not meant to hurt you, a Molotov Cocktail of a girl.
Enfolded in a cocoon of blushing sleep,
I am the heroine aback a dragon, faring
forth in a flight across adventurous,
daring dreams, knight of a thousand
lanterns, the girl who rides the beast
and challenges any who obstruct justice
with a sword white as a pearl, my demon
is leashed, my temper is cool steel,
and at twilight, I kiss the monster,
take off my gauntlets, and touch his