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The Old Woman

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She is frayed
Ripped around the edges, worn like an
Overcoat
She sits on the stone, shadowed,
The crevices running, eroding fissures, echoing
The sunken trenches in her papery skin
She stares
Hollow eyes, emptied
Drained like the rainwater that runs like tiny feet over the rock’s surface
Running from the unseeable
Her hands
Long, spiny fingers alike to the vines that curl around her hollow legs
Her fingernails slicing the air, razor sharp
Tracing the untouchable parts of my heart
Her hands lie, open like bloomed flowers
Blistered palms upturned to the greying sky
A sort of praying, begging
Less like an offering and more like
A stealing
Trying to reap the energy straight from the very sun
Prolong her life here,
On this rocky precipice
Twenty-six months since she has had a life to feed on
Since she has filled her veins with the soul of another
She sighs
Waiting for me to fall back into her
Frigid palms, her fingers
Itching
For the way my neck used to be exposed to her grasp
For the way my forearms were open to those fingernails,
Veins at the ready,
On-call life-support
Twenty-six months since she has slept on my insomnia
Since she has robbed me of everything that kept me going
She was so close
So very close
To the end, to becoming queen of my universe
Ruler of my lands
If she had just pushed a little bit harder,
Maybe,
She thinks,
Maybe she could have had this girl’s life, the ultimate satisfaction,
Eternal existence

The old woman sits on the stone wall
Cold, hard granite pressing on her hollow bones
She stares at me with empty eyes
Her hands upturned to my mercy
Sometimes she touches me,
Deep into the night
Just brushing my skin, reminding me that she is there
But she is crumbling, her bones dissipating
Into a dust storm around her
And if I look closely
I can see those hollow eyes
Closing, slowly closing




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