The new gods still play old tricks,
but we have lost some of our wisdom.
I think maybe my ancestors knew:
gnarled carrots and lopsided smiles were just
the way of things, the warm and imperfect
voice of the earth. Nobody asked apple trees
to bear crystals, or women to bear marble—only
fools, open-mouthed, scrabbling at
Ellen really did it, can you believe?
Traded her baby boy for one of the fae!
Oh sure, he’s beautiful, but
she hasn’t heard what happened to
old Katherine’s second one, seventeen
years past? Grew up a right horror, he did.
ghosts all dressed up
like the backs of their eyelids.
I think we used to know.
These days we have worn our pockets out
with asking, and our gods yield freely,
There is a fragment of the sun
caught in your hair, so that
I want to weep . . .
delighted, while lethe slips under our tongues;
we reach for the same illusions now
and never stop to wonder. Our grandmothers
tried to warn us, and we laughed until
we cried, jaws unhooked and gaping.
We fastened the chains with
our own hands.