The Study
Mari Ness

In the mirrors,
a monster with stolen eyes and breath,
hungry for human speech.

In the doors
the shadows of her wedding guests,
mourners weeping over fruits and sweets.

In the walls
sweet roses and disease,
harsh chemicals and slow decay.

In the books
the half-dead words
she did not dare to burn.

In her mind
a thousand voices shouting blame
most echoes of her own.

In her hands
the crinkling papers, deeply inked
with the gathering of bones,
electric currents against dry skin,
the cries of anguish against death.

She feels rough hands upon her neck.
She has paced this line before,
this fragile edge of life and death,
watched her lover hunt for life in charnel bones.

She closes her eyes against that final breath.
For some knowledge she has no need.

Become a patron at Patreon!
Mari Ness
Mari Ness worships chocolate, words and music, in no particular order. Her work has also appeared in, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Uncanny, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, and multiple other publications. Her poetry novella, Through Immortal Shadows Singing, which deals in part with enduring a ten-year siege, is available from Papaveria Press. She lives in central Florida.