A square image with a red and purple gradient background. A floral circle in black frames the words 'In Communion with Calliope'

In Communion with Calliope #3: Sacrifice

In Communion with Calliope is a weekly poetry column by Ivana Devcic.

Have I not bled and 
burned enough for you?

Tested, and found wanting,
I lay prostrate, my heart thrown
to the floor, trailing blood
droplets like arillate gems. 

Breath smouldering like smoke,
I am nothing but an offering 
to this terrible, baleful god –
but I am granted no boon.

Bereft by his betrayal,
a ferrous circle is cast 
around my crumpled body, 
as if it could replace the crown
I once wore upon my brow. 

To this feral god,
it was of no consequence
that we shared victuals, 
supped on the sweet sanguine 
from each other’s throbbing throats, 
both relished the meat on 
each other’s moon-bright bones.

I was the Ortolan bird he ate whole –
he dunked my pith into his tea
as though it were cherry syrup,
and stuffed and displayed my head,
oh! How heroically he defeated 
my wits that turned men into stone;
and of my ribs he made toothpicks, 
poor, degraded sentinels of my viscera.

So, here I lay, in rapturous pain,
come like a lamb to the slaughter,
the treasure at the end of the quest:
once a goddess,
now a prize bride to be spent. 

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