the first time in twenty-three years:
i saw your face
(outside my nightmares)
this afternoon.

yes, the sun set like always.
and yes, music played, still.
but everything turned inside out,
as that unforgotten firechill returned.

i feel sick --

you are there,
less than a mile from me.
I could walk there in my sleep.

and i am so sickened;
i want to garrote you with my long hair,
to prevent you from mauling the milk-pure spirit
of another little girl
who believes every word you spew from your personal pulpit
built of self-aggrandisement and unholy delusion
about that underworld you seem to know so well.

(shall i tell you of the nights
-- eight, nine, ten years old:
still believing in father christmas and miracles
all velvet brown curls and headlight-caught eyes --
spent awake terror-wracked,
rabbit-frightened and tearsoaked,
old enough to wonder how any place could be heaven
if everyone i loved was going to hell?
if he so loved me why would he hurt me that way?
not old enough to understand the illogical pill i was swallowing,
or the pattern set for most beloveds in my life)

but you have made me lame;
you poisoned my thistledown-fine mind until it curled in upon itself
tried to sting itself to quick death;
i have no leg to stand on;
my ankles are broken and my back pains,
i have nothing i can do.

i feel sick --

you will eat another little girl alive;
and i am the one who lies awake at night
guilt-ridden and helpless
broken fingers and shattered glass heart
tip-toeing around the ghost of
the poor little bunny convinced
she was riddled with sin
just for being born.

your name means 'pity'.
i would laugh if i could breathe.
in the holy book given to me
(once burned, once defiled with red pencil)
you shared it with a foremother of your messiah
whose boundless horrifyingly conditional love
seeped into the little hairline cracks in my brain.
she, chesed.
you, emah.

the little white-fear rabbit child
is now an autumn-tinted seal girl.
i stopped aging, instead rising like the swollen champagne moon,
an ill omen; i am full of blood like a tender bruise.
my hair, my veins, and my soul share that colour.

i feel sick--
and I will spit this venom back into the system.
I will burn me an antidote.

oh but yes, I am fire-crowned!
I set myself alight,
because another little rabbit child
may need a light in the dark.

I will burn lifelong to cast off your umbrage.

I will be wicked, and hell-bound,
purgatorial and mercurial, yes,
a witch in scarlet, baby heathen,
the underworld's own chosen Queen,
but you will never even be your name.
you will always be ruthless.

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