I am a dark daughter of the moon
who never shall be a son of the sun.
Lady anima of the black soul,
she cast herself wholly into the Black Sea
to sink what cannot be drowned.
Feet of a bird
Heart of a lion
Arms of caduceus
Brains of porridge.
I am the black virgin leaching night of its blindness
like some leprous and defunct lost gypsy
master of the black matter known long before
the age of reason saved us all.
Yet, she cannot nor will not conjure it up to save herself now.
This misunderstood raven, racked lesser when weighed against the dove,
ravenous and never fed enough, but must fend alone.
Light, might you come soon and bite back in the dark
as I lie scared witless of those sheered fangs chomping
at some disembodied life that has not yet departed.
Come now or go now, full light.
I hung on all these days, months, coming on the full year,
the friction of every moon and hair
blackens me deeper, shackled as if by some Puritan rule,
requisite public scorn to purge my blackness.
Difficult she is, they whisper,
as if my disguised queen of the night cares to listen.
Queen with the goosefoot who wove flax into linen,
a skill so ancient it gave meaning to an ephah of grain.
There is nothing they say that is not assumed worse by me.
So, I lay down my whip—for now.
Robin Throne was a 2016 writer-in-residence at Wolff Cottage and recipient of the fourth David R. Collins literary achievement award from the Midwest Writing Center, the third fiction chapbook prize from Gambling the Aisle, and a literary fiction award from the Writer's Well for her debut novel, Her Kind. Her work has appeared in The New Poet Journal, Tipton Poetry Journal, Gypsy Cab, Mankato Poetry Review, North Coast Review, Split Lip Magazine and Crab Fat Literary Magazine among others.