By Annette Marie Hyder
“My sticky strength touches everything and weaves
The fabric of the universe together just as much as it
Loosens the bonds between things
From the largest to the small
While connecting them
From both sides of my web,”
“My bone trees sing
And the whistling and the rattling of their song carries
Through time and space
Gets sweeter with every veil you pierce.”
Death hummed a little tune at this point.
“On All Hallow’s Eve
Meet me at the crossroads and we shall see
If you belong on this side or the other,” said Death
As he bowed at the waist catching the coin he tossed in the air
As he did so and hiding it from me
Between his left forefinger and thumb distal phalanges
So I couldn’t see if it was heads or tails.
The unintended corset of his ribcage
The way that I could see him only
From the corner of my eye
The way he whispered
But in such a way as to be perfectly audible
As if he spoke directly into the microphone of my skull
And broadcast his words on a frequency that every raven for miles around,
Every wolf, every furred and feathered thing and I
Had me transfixed to the spot.
The ravens exploded in black buckshot against the waning crescent moon.
The wolves gave one long unanimous howl and were gone.
But I stayed there
Listening to the after-effect noises
Like the pling and cling of underwater music that one hears
When the element of water caresses the ears
And holding between the cushions of my forefinger and thumb
A faceless coin though I couldn’t tell you the manner of its coming there.
A coin, a tithe, a token of Death’s esteem?
Something for Charon or something for me?
I have yet to spend it and loathe to look on its clear unblemished