Magdalene’s Chrysalis by Tawni Waters

I learned sex from a god-man who never 
touched me with his hands,
but came to me in my dreams, 
made my body do things
I didn’t know it could.

I married my soul’s husband

in the space between night and day
rocked in his gentle arms,
swimming in the sea of colors
that separated gray reality
from the shining world behind my eyelids.

My teacher baptized me,

forgave my sins.
He bared his secret skin, 
the invisible fish hieroglyph 
tattooed over his sacred heart. 
Smiling, my shaman taught me 
the art of walking through walls.
“Look,” he called, “stars come like dogs
if you call them by name.”

My master impregnated me.

The seeds of his dreams grew in my belly
filled me with visions songs poems books.
In the waking world
we were prisoners.
Our love forced us to do impossible things,
grow wings to fly 
through windows too high 
for mortals to ever reach.

In the daytime, as we passed,

his eyes found mine,
screamed a thousand sentences
in a glance. Sometimes, 
he’d catch my hand
and whisper words left over
from the midnight trances
we shared.

Our captors bared their snaggleteeth

when they saw us smiling,
but we only sang our gratitude.
“Thank you, lightless ones,
for fanning our love into a fire hot enough
to burn away our mortality 
and turn us into gods.”

I grow old in this prison

seemingly alone.
Anything but a crone,
when I leave my cell
the mortals want me now
more than ever.
I never tell my secret,
the reason why
my eyes have never 
lost their sacred’s light.

I am a child of wonder.

I believe in miracles.
I have lived the magic of the chrysalis.  
Brute captors, know this.
You did not win.

Amor vincit omnia.

Each night, my god moves in me.

My beloved’s dreams have become my home.

About Tawni Waters

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