Early each morning she folds her huge dark wings secretly, noiselessly, lest he awaken. But he will not. And as she rests beside him her body aches for the sleep it can never receive. Her eyes that can never close examine the man tenderly. What a perfect creature but for the tiny angels dancing above his head. She reaches through them and brushes a bony finger softly against his hair, her tongue flickers between thin black lips.
She does not desire to leave the man. This nightly craving that pulls at her belly; it is a calling that must be answered. She does not know how she finds the man’s children hidden in the years; this is not revealed. She does not understand the thrill their terror brings; even they seem to know who she is. She understands none of this. Sometimes, she will stand beside the river and she will hear their screams still echoing in the night.
That morning when the God returned and sent her squawking into the trees she felt she had never loved the man more. Even as the God tore open the sleeping body she imagined a slight stirring, a movement deep within her. In a sudden freezing fear she saw the dream spinning in its dark seed. The slithering children were already beginning their fall toward earth.
Gerald Lange lives in Wisconsin and has published poems in many small magazines. (updated 1976)