SHUNDRIKA SMITH

Mockery of a Toga

"Les Vendanges" -- Natalie Martell

“Les Vendanges” — Natalie Martell

I’ve embraced the sweeping hills
of your body, unrepentantly drying
the Nile from your eyes, those chocolate
orbs refracting emotional upheavals
as easily as Atlas, he who suffers
the weight of the world. Now
upon your shoulders, the heavens brush
against me, a mockery of a toga the color
of royalty resplendently adorned with stains akin
to the blood of Titans. I engulf your essence
in my folds, unwilling to let your light dim
from the shadows of grinning foes. Impenetrable,
I guard your soul against the living dead whose
words bite worse than Cerberus’s. I am Alpha
and Omega, omnipresent yet defined in this
cloth, contesting the constraints of time.

 

Tall Tales

Forgive me for thinking.
I was at sea with a mermaid
who thought she could sing
the blues underwater.
Forgive me for thinking.
That unicorn asked for directions,
and I was astounded at his being—
majestic, mysterious, forbidden.
I am not a house-elf.
I am the sparkle of the blackest lake
swallowing time as the moon wanes.
I am the bass in a wolf’s howl,
mightier than gods on the prowl.
I am the beat of a dragon’s wings—
unbroken, untamed, free
from the thought of you.