Excerpt from Animal Bridegroom, “The Burning Woman”

The Burning Woman

Listen!
You can hear her pale voice
from within the conflagration.
It always speaks truth.
It always lies.
She cackles like marrow-bone
when she walks.
Her eyes and mouth are open
and burn like magnesium.
She is a contrary Gorgon;
everything she looks at
is forced into frenzied life.
If you are very lucky
and can run after her
until she catches you,
you can put her in a canning jar
to hold in the air:

ablaze of fireflies
to light the darkness.


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