“TWO OF SWORDS” by Jessica drake-thomas

Hoffmannesque Fairy-Tale Scene by Paul Klee (1921) via The Art Institute of Chicago

Lost in the unending night

of his gaze,

I believed him when

he whispered in my ear.

I let his chaos close around me

like a fist.

Ensconced in this void,

I breathed little—lived on dreams as

white flowers bloomed in my belly, thinking

of lips, painted by vanilla vodka, a violin’s curve, 

a world of strange and beautiful magnets,

governed by balance.

He was the king on a toppled chair,

his tumbledown tower at his feet.

He gave me an orchard of rotting fruit, and

seven years of bad luck

because I didn’t love him.

Blindfolded, I unsheathed my swords.

The hand opened, a flat palm, pale in the twilight.

Alone, I walked the shoreline, strewn with wreckage,

through the gate to the garden of bones.


Jessica Drake-Thomas is a poet, fiction writer, and PhD student. She’s the author of Burials, a gothic horror poetry collection. She’s a poetry editor at Coffin Bell Journal

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