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Daughters of the Sun

by Emily Deibler

Daughters of the Sun
In her people's beliefs, the priestess

is married to the earth;
in missionary school,

she's married to Christ.

 

Both bleed swamp mud,

and the priestess' witch lover

is neither the earth nor God,

but all the stars inbetween.

 

Fireflies and gator eyes hold

none of the shine in the witch's eyes,

her smile, the gleaming jars of salves

and balms she shelves beside her bed.

 

The linen sheets are worn with their

laughter and tears, and the priestess kisses

and prays against the sigils, the constellations

on her god's dark skin.

Samantha

by Emily Deibler

Samantha

She sat at my bus stop each weekday at 7:30 a.m.

She was six, and I was seven. I remember

her straight hair,

her crooked teeth,

her father’s smile,

her mother’s copper-gray hair,

the glistening grass.

 

Her mother always wanted me to

come over and play, but Mom refused

to let me visit. Samantha’s mother was

too strange because she never wore a bra

or put in her dentures.

 

Each school morning, I brought a picture

book about Egypt to the bus stop; my favorite

section was about the pharaohs’

funeral rites. I read to Samantha. As we

flipped through, her oil-drop eyes

were ladybug-round. She pointed with

insistence at a colorful sarcophagus.

 

One time, she stroked a fly with a weed,

I’ve never seen anyone so in love

with a fly before. As she cradled it, its eyes

gleamed like molten sapphires, and Samantha—

I can’t remember a single word of hers.

She babbled, a string of giggles & squeals.

 

One fall afternoon, as her mother stood outside

the bus, Samantha hugged her backpack

and wept in her tape-patched seat.

Pee soiled her pink skirt.

 

The last morning Samantha was there,

red and blue bathed her dewy front yard.

Her father didn’t smile.

Her mother wore dotted slippers

& a faded, threadbare gown,

nipples templing through,

face limp,

no teeth.

 

Blood stained Samantha’s legs

as a murder of men

guided her away.

Emily Deibler is a published writer and poet. Her Gothic horror novel Dove Keeper came out in October 2018. Her short story "Deer in December" was featured in TL;DR Press' Halloween anthology NOPE, and her poems "Turkey Hunting" and "Patty" were published by Z Publishing House. An avid lover of working with other writers, she also acts as a co-editor of Exhume, a literary magazine dedicated to magnifying the voices of LGBT trauma survivors.

Emily Deibler

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