Wednesday, August 19, 2015
eating the dragon's heart by Deborah Digges
eating the dragon's heart
by Deborah Digges
What god left for me here a dragon's heart. Resembling
In a gold box. The parchment read Fresh kill.
Eat raw or braise in oil.
I lifted it from royal foil onto my best blue willow, blood
of the ages
seeping out across the bluest bridge.
The first bite sap-like tasted of smoke-filled rooms---
women wearing smocks unloading kilns, stone sheets
crushed in bowls, sprinkled with dew
drawn just that morning from high grasses. The second bite,
sour as a lemon
eaten whole, the rind and all, the root
of Queen Anne's lace and goldenrod.
Still through the burning I began to understand what the
crows were saying,
speaking in tongues, their news fraught with
Never they choired, be tempted to suck lifeless sweet buds
hung of seeds.
It is a trap. Nor smear onto this page the juice that stains
your fingers, lest you're condemned to winery again,
lest you fall through the ice of time.
Sunk to my knees in sludge I waded bogs collecting feathers
to be used as quills.
Then swore the pledge, kissing goodbye the last bite of my
Swallowed it whole in my green sequined dress.
Why do we offer you a dragon's heart and not a pomegranate?
To ask, one has no right to call herself a poet.