A digital image of a statue of the Greek muse Calliope. In white text next to the statue, it reads 'In Communion with Calliope, by Ivana Marija Devcic'.

In Communion with Calliope #8: Honey-Tongue

In Communion with Calliope is a fortnightly column by Ivana Marija Devčić.

To me,

his words are honey:

viscous on my tongue,

seeping sweet silence,

as though my throat was stung.

He is the nocturnal sea –

Delivering peace,

and ending it, 

with the same cold ease. 

I would forgo all, still,

to spend even half a year 

wrapped in his arms.

But it is always my neck,

and never my waist 

that is held; 

always my soul strangled  

in a tourniquet, 

and never his.


I walk alone to the altar.

I place my bouquet on the hearth.

I lay down on the bitter slab.

I pull my brain through my mouth,

and I wrap myself, gently,

in bandages that bind me.

Death seeks me like a hound,

salivating over the taste of 

my bloody footsteps that

trail between dormant

headstones and mausoleums.

Bristling, he finds me waiting 


an iron weight in my pocket:

his heart, my greatest burden. 

“I am cold,” I say,

by way of greeting. 

Reflected in his black eyes

 –  those onyx mirrors –

I see the lick of flame dancing

when I set his heart ablaze.

He does not flinch

until Rubies and Garnets 

and Sapphires spill out 

from the fire in my chest 

like wine. 

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