by Kyle Hemmings
The night air is thick with Tiger Bloom and heavy tropes.
Past the trimmed gardens, the clumps of Honeybells
or Blueangels, they crawl singlefile: The Frog Kings
and the Green Goo miesters, salt on their tongues,
the fingers like tubers, the breach of faith,
and now the impossible chasm between them and their
one time supplier of oyster suitcases and barnacle
clippers--Cyrthanthus. One of the betrayers, a man
wishing to be a woman who wishes to be a child, rises,
and says in low falsetto, "Master, where you've been?
You promised to teach us the miracle of The Sacred Hue."
Slowly, Cyrthanthus turns, his beard full of bees,
dried petals from old lovers, and replies, "Why do you
deceive me? Have I not the elephant ears of an old woman
waiting for her son's return from the sand wars? Did I
not feed you when your ponds went dry or your pastel
children went seeking sweet asylum in the oriental night?
Did I not command the oceans to give up their ruby queens
and imperial dwarfs for you? And this is how you repay me?
By giving my true name to the Dogs of Double Bounty?"And
with that each of the followers bow their heads and kneel,
while the flowers around them turn to Maneaters
and the only sounds for miles are the shuffling
of a woman's feet, one who is carrying jugs
into town, and inside one, the cackle of an apple green
calyx that was once a human heart.