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  Julia DeLong

Published on: 10/31/2005
Behold the Handmaiden

Behold the handmaiden of the Lord,
she said,
and shouted praise and danced a psalm in joy
as the surrounding glory faded.
Sweet Mother of God, what have you done?
For no kind angel will visit you tonight.
Brace yourself against the creeping chill
that will seize your limbs
and fill your womb with horror.
Clutch your little light close, don't let him wink it out,
and hush those little thoughts, too frightened
to cry out.
Silence them, and keep your light covered, waiting.

Published on: 9/12/2005
The Orphic Guide

This is the rule for one about to die:

Go to the well-fashioned House of Hades.
Do not approach the left-hand spring, but wary,
Curve right to the spring of the white cypress
Where descending dead refresh their souls.
Then press on, to the Lake of Memory.

There they will ask, "who and what are you?"
Give this answer to the astute guards:

"I stand before you pure, for I have suffered,
I am a son of earth and starry heaven.
But parched with thirst, I perish -- quickly restore
From that cold lake my ancient remembrance."
"Hail, you who have suffered, and drink deeply.
This is the long way, the heirs' way, so holy..."

Published on: 8/4/2005

The man fled in a dazzle
And I only glimpsed the fox tail flash
Before it was gone.

I blinked in the sudden quiet.
A little girl stood there, forlorn amid the broken glass.

I picked up a pointed shard and turned it,
Dancing prismatic rainbows across my eyes.
"Stop him!" my sudden scream shattered the void.
"And when you find him, vivisect him!"
I thrust the bladed edge to the sky in offering.

Someone began to cry, softly.

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