WHEN SHE LEFT
by Kevin McAuley
She wore a necklace of tiny suns. They
Yellow smoke, as she ran. He was running after
Her, trying to avoid the colored hands that
Grabbed at his ankles from out of the thick, low mist.
Behind him, the past was swallowing his footsteps.
She stood in her death robe, a basket of
In her arms, a mask carved in bone on her hip.
Her nails were painted with blood and fingers were
Tangled in her hair. When he asked her not to go,
She turned her face to the north, where
Snowclouds were gathering like armies, and the dusk
Crouched low, tensed and ready to leap.
© 1994 Kevin McAuley.
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