The burin’s edge slants across my flesh,
slicing through the skin
like copper plates, intaglio;
chiseling runes in the ink of my blood,
staining his fingers black.
The lines entangle, enjamb,
weaving ascenders and descenders
in tender embraces,
each word opening me further,
binding me, defining me.
He writes me upside down
and backwards, so that
I hardly know myself yet,
but my hundred newly-open mouths
whisper secret meanings,
and offer atramentum kisses;
he soothes my wounds with
copper vitriol, making the words
holy and incorruptible,
incapable of fading into sepia;
yet as he kisses me, our tongues meeting,
the words spark white-fire
under my skin, the runes writhing
into new configurations,
just as true as the ones he placed there;
I wrap myself around him,
the words press against him,
brand him, surge into his soul;
I pour into him as he pours into me;
I whisper his name against his ear
and bind him as he bound me,
press him as a leaf among my leaves.
Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Reno, Nevada, but received her MA in English from Penn State. She’s worked as a technical writer on contracts involving nuclear submarines, NASA, and computer manufacturing. She currently lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and son.
Her poetry has garnered two Rhysling nominations and has appeared in over twenty journals; her short fiction has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Compelling Science Fiction, Altered Europa, Silver Blade, and The Fantasist. Her well-received Edda-Earth series is available through Amazon. For more about her work, please see www.edda-earth.com.