Blood on Blood

Dutch Elizabeth says, the stone house, where we change into our swimsuits, was a slaughter house.  She points with her chin to the ceiling where pitted hooks still dangle thick speckled cord - yellow, green, and blue - geometrically patterned. Swinging her arm left to right toward ghosts of herdsmen, she says, “They drove sheep, goats, and cattle down from the mountains across lava flows,” now strewn with olive trees and Icarian gold grasses. I don’t have to ask where the blood went stepping away from the stone steps abutting the squared edge of wall crumbling from sulfuric gases shushing from the creaking ocean bed through pursed fissures - the volcano blows a kiss of sulfur - heats the water to feed the mysterious - to remind us of human frailty. I slip easy into the water pocked with flakes of sulfuric scale, lean back and float, submerge my ears, and listen to lava searing through rock and wood. Crackling snaps of gas a million years old, effervesces past my buoyant body: the Earth giving birth to Creation singing I know where the blood goes. It is a sacrifice to magma - the Great Vulva, bleeding, and yes, yes, I know, I know where the blood goes: into another generational sequence of existence. And, Dutch Elizabeth says, “Only local tourists come here, to Methana, once embargoed because they supported Sparta.” Only local tourists come here, to make peace in the bay, to float on songs of blood.

Volume  11.2 - December 2018

Ms. Rancourt, EXAT, is of Abenaki/Huron decent. Her first book of poetry, Billboard in the Clouds received the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Book Award.  Her second, murmurs at the gate, Unsolicited Press, is scheduled for release May 2019. Ms. Rancourt is a USMC and Army veteran.  Her poetry, and non-fiction, has been published widely.