Issue 104 Fiction Poetry Nonfiction Art + Photography Film Music Books For Creators more

Cenotaph of the Swallowtail

for Vera Jayne Palmer

 Apryl Skies
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 Apryl Skies
Cenotaph of the Swallowtail
by Apryl Skies  FollowFollow
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Apryl Skies is an award winning author and filmmaker. When she is not writing, thorn climbing or drinking Mangleberry tea, she enjoys swimming...read more with sea turtles and chasing gray clouds away... She also enjoys painting, jewelry and candle making. Other times, she is much like an elf. She wraps gifts, places stamps on mail and avoids licking envelopes. While these things are very important they are not nearly as much fun as writing poetry or fairy tales, so she really hopes you enjoy her work.
Cenotaph of the Swallowtail
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… all is unfinished
and the unending is only just beginning…
 
This is no fairytale,
no Hollywood dream.
 
In the still disarray of morning quiet
even the birds bow in silence,
perched upon tight wires,
wings folded in reverence,
their sky a threshold
for which they need no key.
 
Frankincense burns sweetly at the altar,
no name engraved.
They are here to be certain,
dressed in black rain and foreign tongue
smoke spins a web of memory
and gunshot glory.
 
This is no blind plea,
there is no banquet here,
no black tie affair.
 
White roses mark tombstones
scattered like black beads.
War stories and suicide,
decapitation beneath modest stone.
Blood mistaken for wine
stains her ivory silk.
 
This is no fairytale,
this is where castles
crumble into the sea…
 
A place of rest for vessels;
an abandoned shipyard
of static and still beauty.
Chiseled marble visage.
 
A swallowtail nuzzles names
never to unfold like new wings;
only memory emerges
from a warm chrysalis.
 
Every grave is a cenotaph,
a hushed indigo
epitaph carved into sky.

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