This Will Be Your Hell This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 20, 2018

“Burning Island: Study for The Maelstrom” (1980) by Sandra Meigs

There’s someone trapped in the house.
In the house on the burning island.
In the house on the burning island
in the sea of furious beasts.
In the house on the burning island
in the sea of furious beasts
under the sky crawling with darkness.
There’s someone trapped in the house.
But who put them there?

Point your blame skywards
where the god of darkness resides.
His tendrils of smoke like claws
claim one worthless
human life as his own.

And yet, the icy waters of
the sea-goddess Thalassa crash violently into the hot
coal of the island, her waves
cresting just high enough to remain
a contender in the battle to destroy
the person trapped in the house.

Violent shades of red yellow blue paint
the skin of her minions
once of human flesh and blood
now slave to the sea and its goddess.

Don’t forget the blaze of scorching red
that slowly devours the island.
It is the fire goddess who inflicts
the most suffering, nearly able to claim
her victory.

But wait,
the clever artist has evaded
our investigation entirely.
Oh woman of American birth and Canadian blood,
what do you have to say for yourself?
Possessing the qualities of a god with each stroke
you knew this painting was the perfect place to trap them:
the ex-boyfriend
the abusive father
that boy in high school who hated her for no reason.

Indecision is often considered
a human’s greatest weakness
yet here you prove them all wrong.
Indecision sparked
this three-force hell into existence.
Indecision leaves
someone trapped in the house forever
in the endless cycle of suffering and pain.

Gods and goddesses are born by your hand.
While you’d like to think
of yourself as a god,
even you lose control of this situation.
You call it the final copy.
You destroy your victim.
You let go of the brush.






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