Ritual No. 72

The strands of her hair are strung with a thousand eyes. Glossy wet marbles rattle and blink with each swelling current, each plume of hot vented air. All day the washing and now its reward. She radiates frenzy in blue orange flashes. There is safety in this. The knowing of what is done and what is yet to come. Her protective adaptation. Her cup is filled with new water and the ashes of stars. Above the wooden fence are eyes. Between the slit of the curtains always eyes. Next door every night constant smothering never turning eyes. The chasm in the brick wall breathes its balmy fragrance into her lungs. Vapor and dizzy and vision and gaze. Adder and moon snake perch peaceful on branches. Three doves swoop from the nest of lint in the dying oak tree. The slick grassy mud slides to swallow her feet. She slips, sinks, plants herself deep in the framed night garden. Her supplicants burn bay laurel, eat bindweed leaf and seeds. Swoon and stumble and watch and wait. Their silent earnest eyes ask and ask, pressed closer and closer against splinters and glass.