The Maenad (1994)
by Sarah L. M. Dorrance, Vampire/Donor Alliance

Wild blow the winds on this black night -
laughter shrieking within my dumb ears.
A baying of dogs, the sound of horns, the mad light
of the moon blazing empty and fierce:
Here is where I make my halt. My white feet
writhe on the grass, seeking a soothing peat.
The raw soles kiss blade. White burns red.
It is a nowhere-space to which I have fled.
And the god is about: which mercy will he bring,
the ecstasy of the arrow, the sweet death's bed?
This mad poet would sing.

Death is in every gift. Do not fight
the glance, the sharp kiss, the sweet metal tears
of rain falling on midwinter's blight -
The soft sobbing patter is all the soul hears.
Dark plains of the night, where my heart might beat
from its chest; throbbing; where my mouth might eat
yet stranger foods: nectar, ambrosia, toadstool-bread,
accepting dark hell with delighted dread.
Love of my masked lord is a frightening thing.
The ground near my feet is soaked where I've bled;
This mad poet would sing.

This hell token coiled about my neck (Now invite
what's beyond the mask to the body mask-worn)
Here in this wood, mosses of malachite
entwine tressy roots along granite spears.
A gasping coitus is what makes me complete;
thick honey drips, mingling with the blood at my feet.
I give up myself. My light glows where I spread,
my hair tosses - and an ancient figurehead,
an oracle, a wild prophet, I scream - The moon is bleeding
but none perceive. These words stay unsaid.
This mad poet would sing.


This blind rapture is sweet -
My blinded eyes see what day-bound eyes dread,
Paths seldom trod are the ways that I tread,
Following stars to dark wakening -
My submission is serene. This horn at my head.
This mad poet would sing.

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