one Beltane night

on the night of Beltane
      -- Hallowe'en everywhere else,
            but we southern hemispheric witches
       we still dance with the right steps, you see --
I digress, but,
on that Beltane night, October 31,
  as the storms sighed in over from the north
 as I stood tending the wounded
   her ring broke on my finger.

I would have liked to see
  the phantoms of love I had wasted
and the little imps of propriety
  run from that silver fracture,
perhaps a waterfall of tears,
  or the blood I spilt in an attempt to stem the flow of her cruelty.

but no.
  the thunder rolled like waves across the eastern sky
  the humidity of spring roared like new lions
    there was nothing,
      just a broken silver engagement ring.

my mother had asked what ring that was I wore,
  and I simply told her, "my ex's."
{Demeter, after she let her Kore go, understood much.
  no more questions were asked.}

I reach for runes, cards, leaves and stones --
  begging, tell me what it means,
tell me what I'm too afraid to say.

Five of Swords; "victory has been achieved".
      there is no going back.

perhaps, at one time,
I would have wept at such finality
perhaps, scramble for spare silver
      to fix the shattered band

but I am not Kore, not anymore
  and she was not Hekate, showing me crossroads
showing me no entrances, no light or night or magic,
  she scoffed at my witchcraft.
she was girl-Janus, wearing two faces --
  how long, how long did I try to love the both of them
   and how often did the carelessly thrust knife
twist in my heart?

(I remember indirect kisses, whispers,
   being her muse.
But I also remember despair at clinical answers,
      when the slightest breath of magic
            -- or compassion, really --
      may have healed me.)

the lightning flashed erratically;
 the rivers swelled and overflowed
  but I am not Kore, not anymore.

I don't know what I am.
      but I am not hers.

maybe perhaps

            ...I could be free?
(the storms clear the way for starlight
            and sunshine's radiant interruption
                  of the liminal space of dawn)

regret, too, can be loosed to an uncaring universe;
let it become dust, sand -- let the memories be all that is left.

I will not repair the ring, my once-love.
      I will not repair us, no matter what I felt for your phantom.

the lightning spoke to me, that Beltane evening:
"no ghosts, no blood, no tears, no more --
darling, you're free.

open your eyes.
dawn is awakening.
rise to meet what's next.

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