454px-The_Beguiling_of_Merlin_by_Edward_Burne-JonesThe place where I found to rest was thick
With chamomile. I lay my head against its spongy,
Fragile stems and closed my eyes to the ants
Intoxicated by the scent, climbing toward heaven,
Or what an ant can know of it.

Soft, soft. Come now. Leave the door ajar.
Nimue, Nimue . . . you are not swift enough
You linger, come away. Leave it.
Leave the door ajar.

The air so alive with cold
All I could know

I drank the wine and listened.

You are too young to know but listen
Listen to each word. Then
Come away. Leave the door ajar
Learn to find the secret jolt.

Swimming across frozen water, chunks
Catching in my hair, my feet whales
Stuck again and again, my arms logs
Weighted by soot, dark and swirling
In the whirlpool my body was creating

Like powder
The smell of a rich woman ready
For her lover
The chamomile woke me
My limbs were stiff with dawn

I had barely began to walk the soreness out
When I found him.

–Shaun Perkins


Morgana’s Instructions

You don’t need to love the old man.
Just move his boots out of the way
so neither of you trip over them.
Ask the cook to send the boy out
to find the leeks he likes the best.
Move the curtain on the bed a few
inches to one side, clip it there.
Turn away when he coughs
and the sputum slips out his mouth. Continue reading “Morgana’s Instructions”