i am not the story
you have been told.
i am not pure
i am not your fantasy
of an innocent you can corrupt.
you think he took me?
you think i knew not what i did
when i laughed and placed those crimson seeds
upon my tongue?
do not mistake my kindness
i am forest fires and flower buds
i am poisonous thorns and newborn foals
i am death and rebirth—
cross me at your peril.
(you shall find that pretty rose vines
are just as lovely when they wrap tight over your limbs
and shatter your bones.)
my lord, he brings me wreaths of bloodstained flowers,
and i grant him kisses laced with venom
he gifts me graveyards to plant my orchids
and i send him the torn heads of men
who wrong my maidens.
(i teach them combat alongside botany. both are arts.)
he rules with iron fist and i
with gentle touch.
we live and love in a curious harmony
of sweet birdsong
and the tortured screams of sinners.
come springtide i am bound to earth
to my mother’s sunfilled meadows,
her unequivocal, enduring love.
and by the fading light of summer
i return to my lover’s onyx walls
and cimmerian heart.
i cherish both but they know
they would have no claim on me if i did not desire it
for i belong to myself,
i am only my own—
half blooming creation,
half blazing hellfire.
he calls me his lady
but he knows
i am a queen.