Blood Bracelet

A blood bracelet is the best kind.
It is proof of life
and the ability to bear pain.

Before sleeping with you
in the big bed upstairs with the cuffs on the posts,
I spent six weeks living with religious lunatics
in the woods;
they had whips and crosses, 
thorns and theology.

Later, deep in the rabies dance of our mating,
I called upon the things they had taught me--
starvation without complaint,
dogma without tenderness,
and the acquired skill of animating bird carcasses with or without ceremony.

That was the key--the corpse cardinal, dead dove and rot starling,
all left on your pillow along with red script
from the blood bracelet your bite left
when you spoke to me
so ignited and
sure of redemption's need for absolute destruction as prelude.

for bits of inspiration at real toads.


hedgewitch said…
Lord--this rumbles through the psyche like a July thunderstorm--from the visual attack of the bracelet image to the rabid mating, to the hellfire of a vicious and necromantic creed, it all builds to that Armageddon conclusion--"when you spoke to me
so ignited..." I love that, especially. Really really fine writing, Shay--you're def throwing that bar into orbit these days.
De Jackson said…
Man. This has TEETH. So much dark love for this.
Sanaa Rizvi said…
This is beautifully dark & enticing!
Susie Clevenger said…
Me thinks you have been living in my brain. This is a perfection depiction of the theology I ran from over fifteen years a go. Toss in an alcoholic, drug addicted evangelist wreaking hell and it is a match. Your creativity leaves me open jawed with awe. Thanks so much for writing and sharing in the garden!!
Sherry Blue Sky said…
I enjoyed your labels as much as the poem, LOL. I don't know how you think up these tales, but am so glad you do!
. said…
That's my girl; that's the magic, right there.

Should I quote? Naw ... but I'm gonna. ;)

This line is HOT: "Later, deep in the rabies dance of our mating" ... That whole stanza is absolutely delicious, in an I-know-Imma-gonna-have-food-poisoning-later-but-eating-this-poison-is-worth-every-bite sort of way.

"That was the key--the corpse cardinal, dead dove and rot starling" ... I know you were damn proud of this line, weren't you?

"with red script
from the blood bracelet your bite left" ... Again, I find this so yummy. I don't know about you, but I love the taste of blood. Especially if I've drawn it. ;)

"sure of redemption's need for absolute destruction as prelude" ... Have I mentioned before that you're brilliant? If it will get you to keep feeding me poems, I'm going to end every comment with "Puh-lease keep writing."
brudberg said…
Those dead beards made the condemnation of the vice even more chilling. Damn the zealots
Gemma Wiseman said…
I think Count Dracula has been enjoying just a tad too much pleasure. This poem leaves a vicious bite.
Whew! That certainly undermined the general romanticism. Brilliant ... and I'm glad to note it's in past tense.
Kerry O'Connor said…
A narrative to fill this reader with horrid fascination for the intensity and the passion which borders on a kind of madness. Perhaps one might regret never having felt this deeply for another to give up strength of will, or be relieved.
grapeling said…
this has the vigor of someone with a direct line of sight into that pit, Shay ~
Mama Zen said…
Holy hell, Shay. This tears it up without even bothering to take names. The next to the last stanza fills me with such envy that it may be fatal.

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