Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ZORRAH by Stephen Jarrell Williams

Whole regions of the world had ended,
blackened crisps of crust and lakes of red lava.
Fields of death.
Fields of begging.
Cities collecting the dregs.
So many praying...

She walked
through a picture-window,
glass shattering on Main Street.
She didn't have a scratch, welt, or discoloration.
Strands of silk glistened,
spun around her naked body,
as the city burned.

The sirens had gone silent,
only rocket-trails in the sky.
"My name is Zorrah," she whispered.
Stunning, her blue eyes staring in all directions
at once, the sight of her overpowering everyone.
Awe-struck, the crowds stood as stones.

I escorted Zorrah to my apartment
on the tenth floor, overlooking the unbombed
portion of the still thriving coast.
Assassin ships anchored just beyond the buoys.
I should have known they'd come for her.

She ate all of my canned peaches.
Six cans without labels, juice sweet
as her lips and breath.

I peeled the webs of silk from her body.
She spread her limbs like petals on a flower.
We didn't sleep that night.

Zorrah told me she was from another world
within the underskin of time.
For time travel is a practiced art.
Dreams realized.
No one can fully explain it.
Many leave and never return.

"Tell me how," I said.
Zorrah smiled, sensing shadows and light.
"I will come to you again," she said.
"Glass can be a mirror
soft as wax."

Soldiers rammed down my door,
took Zorrah away to the immense World Monitor.
She spoke to the world leaders and cheaters.

Zorrah's last words:
"Cut out the dead wood, amputate
the poisonous buds,
burn the stocks if necessary.
There are always the roots."

Zorrah's announced execution ignited the good.
They burned the bones of the elite into powder.

Zorrah was never found...

The land healing came overnight.
Earth blossomed into something new.

I waited for Zorrah for years.
Hoping that she had escaped.
Remembering her words:
"I will come to you again," she said.
"Glass can be a mirror
soft as wax."

One night she pulled me into the mirror.
She gave me all of her peaches
in the underskin of time.