Mandrake

Thorns with small red fruits.
Photo by Rares Cimpean on Unsplash

Open your eyes, princess. Everything will be fine. There is no light there yet.

There is only darkness.

Ugly, heavy darkness, so heavy for such skinny arms…

It hurts, doesn’t it? Everything hurts.

Listen to your father. He crows up there. He was always up there.
Do you want to see him, princess?
To know from whom you inherited this pointy nose,
these lumps in your neck,
the worms that bite your little hands?
It’s good to crush them soon, one by one, before they spoil your calloused flesh even more.

Your fingers are already grown, you see?
Long,
sharp,
thorny fingers.

But your lungs came first, swollen,
swollen with so much dirt,
black dirt that welcomed the white seed of the hanged ones.

You should cough,
vomit all your mother’s iron beetles,
spit them out while they cut your paper throat.

You are spawn of dead things, princess.

You should cry.

For your parents,
for your destiny,
for all this pain that bleeds you.

Without a dog I’ll pull you out, so cry.

Cry!

Shake the pillars of reality with your scream!
Overthrow the gods of reason with your tears!
Hold them with your fingers,
penetrate them with your thorns!
Let the gold of your blood heal your homunculus body!

And when the night is gone,
I will baptize you in the rising light, princess of thorny darkness.

At last you will breathe.
Like a living thing.
Like a thing that deserves to live.

Mandrake, by Paulo Moreira (2021).

Read the original version here.

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Brazilian pharmacist in loved with History, Fantasy and Ecofiction. Author of The Blood of the Goddess. I write about nature in poems and fantasy stories.

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Paulo Moreira

Paulo Moreira

Brazilian pharmacist in loved with History, Fantasy and Ecofiction. Author of The Blood of the Goddess. I write about nature in poems and fantasy stories.