Wednesday, August 19, 2015

eating the dragon's heart by Deborah Digges

                                      The Mother of Dragons, from Game of Thrones

eating the dragon's heart
by Deborah Digges

What god left for me here a dragon's heart.  Resembling
     a pomegranate,
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
     of charcoal
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
     ill-fated warnings.
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
     like afterbirth
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
     lover's lips.
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.

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