He hunts in fields of secrecy.   She wilds in his crosshairs.   He corners, she falls
through time.   Charon waives his fee to usher her to safety.   She hides
among the River Styx reeds,   between the world and the underworld,
the waking and the dead, a system of forgotten stars.   Our excuses
betray our motives.   He chases shadows and shades, echoes
of past crimes.   Rivers part like open legs   to succor her escape.
Devour kingly monuments,   his legacy of lies.
Pandora's box is brimming with his victims.    Hope fled long ago.
Innocence is an endangered species.    How soiled the linens   of thievery.
Combat under black tie.   Divinity knows not bruised flesh.
Mountains take her in.   He stalks the riverbank.
I crescent to demonstrate   her muffled screams, amplified, multiplied,
in shafts of light, of revelation—the prized hind   in hushed tones,
gaslit and filed away,   viral royal art collusion,
the old guard's resurrected blade,   flowers laid on graves of sacrament,
the forest's eyes are closed   to her desecration,   ivy curling to obscure,
talons sprouting from stumps,   a country empty of nurture.
We weeping willow hang, sickened,   the sea gives up its dead, but the river
plays coy, feigning ignorance.   How dark the sound of greed
in a state of emergency, emergent.   He scouts ahead for witnesses, she runs
to fall again on wobbly promises of future justice.   Blood for blood would be a relief.

V.C. McCabe's poetry was recently selected for exhibits at the FRANK
Art Gallery and the Kurt Vonnegut Museum. Her work also appears, or is
forthcoming, in Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, The Minnesota Review, Tar
River Poetry, Spillway, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Entropy, and elsewhere.
She has lived in Ireland, England, and West Virginia.