Just Truth, Teeth, and Wings

She was crafted from hammered pain—bones smelted out of hurt ore, heart set afire, dipped in frigid blood and torrid tears until her soul screamed adamantium into armor around her reality. Her night-stories swarmed with what most minds believed belonged to the wrong lived. Death licked her skin, danced with her mind, wrung pearls out of her eyes… wanting her to wish for it.

Under today’s dark moon and grinning sun, she wraps wild verses around the hardness of her all. Her lived hand takes a lie—once carved on her backbone—and shapes it into poems. She lets go not of memories full of broken bones and bloodied howls. She plants them in the soil soothing the flames burning out of her skin. She consumes the hurt, births energy out of old pains. Death still speaks to her, but there is no hunger in The Reaper’s words… just truth, teeth, and wings.

born on fire,
she feeds on summer
and blazes

.
the (not so) wee notes…
Adamantium: a fictional metal alloy… in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, and is best known as the substance bonded to the character Wolverine’s skeleton and claws.
– “wrapped in verses”, I stole the phrase from Brendan’s quoting of John Hollander’s views about how Dante was able to get through his Inferno.
– Linked to Expanding Bits of Fiction and Poetry into Haibun, 11… also to Poets United (Poetry Pantry, 201), the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Sunday Mini-Challenge: Harrowing and Hallowed (“write about something that is both harrowing and hallowed. Rough up an experience with that dreadful harrow then look at it in the opposite way, the lair of death becomes a golden stair”). I based my poem on AlmaMia Cienfuegos, the main character of a short story collection that shares her name.

AlmaMia Cienfuegos and Other Stories-Facebookfrom the cover of AlmaMia Cienfuegos and Other Stories, by Magaly Guerrero
(painted to fiery life by Michelle Kennedy)
*Shelle, you rocketh very mucho*

63 thoughts on “Just Truth, Teeth, and Wings

  1. Ooo this is absolutely delicious in much more ways than one 🙂 with vivid sensory details of ” Death licked her skin, danced with her mind, wrung pearls out of her eyes…” you almost serve to redefine the term! Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

  2. Absolutely, Magaly. The Reaper’s Fire is rebirth, teeth bared and brimming in blood: It is what every poem you bring forth is blessed by. Amen.

  3. What a fiery haibun Magaly! Holy cow! Love the line, ” Death licked her skin, danced with her mind, wrung pearls out of her eyes… ” amazing!

  4. “Crafted with hammered pain” could be a definition of anyone’s life when coping with chronic pain. It is really going to stick with me. And, being based on AlmaMia means I love it!

  5. We voyage through life’s various seas of pain, and are either shipwrecked, or make it to the far shore–and sometimes both, as I see that the message in a bottle this poem carries is akin to Crusoe’s long harrowing on an island of separation–that one of bodily dis-ease that illness or injury brings–where one is lost from ‘normal’ society and still a stranger to one’s own, yet every word of this journey shows the progress of spirit through darkness, where one burns oneself as light. I especially like the way you manage to not just write declaratively, but lyrically. Strong and powerful piece, Magaly.

    • I’m glad you said that about how I approached the writing. I had a bit of trouble with the tense of the haibun. I wrote it all in the present at first, but I felt it didn’t do such a good job at showing her transition. After a while I decided to write the stanzas in different times, and play with the proximity of the writing. It feels like it helped.

  6. I did come by earlier and left a comment but now I see it did not stick.

    Your piece digs fearlessly into the darker side of human consciousness. I was relieved by the hopeful note of the haiku, the hallows to balance the harrowing.

  7. Far from ‘just’ she is a superhero – so many truths an images to electrify this piece – death licked her skin – particularly so… Words can truly lift us up and away ..hopefully to safer places and less pain

  8. This is amazingly powerful, with each image vividly described and coming on intensely, one after the other. There is no denial of pain’s power here, but acceptance, which has a power of it’s own.

  9. Magaly, I like the lines, “Death still speaks to her, but there is no hunger in The Reaper’s words… just truth, … which speak to me as pure hyperbole. If this is an exaggeration, then the lines I like are its ultimate untruth. Very effective at any rate. Then end may be nearer than we think here.
    ..

    • The poem stays rather close to the style and motifs of the stories that inspired it. So although I understand why you suggest it’s “pure hyperbole”, in fact it’s just fiction that stays true to its setting. And I might have to argue about your conclusion… since the character seems to have learned to feed from the pain.

      I always love the way different eyes read into the same piece of writing. So very interesting…

  10. That’s some power packed writing Magaly… Her lived hand takes a lie—once carved on her backbone—and shapes it into poems.. wow! Loved this haibun.

  11. Love this- Death still speaks to her, but there is no hunger in The Reaper’s words… just truth, teeth, and wings.

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