Taking the Auspices
by Sonya Taaffe

for Erik Amundsen

The language I know best
blows under the shadows of pines,
turns from the bones of green branches
like the small bells hanged in my hair.
Look, I have a knife's edge
to the cold bark, my warm hand
at your throat. I have a god's name
at the edges of my mouth.
The moon is silent when she turns this color,
softer than the rotten blood of a heart.

Poems and short stories by Sonya Taaffe have won the Rhysling Award, been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award and the Dwarf Stars Award, and been reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, The Best of Not One of Us, and Trochu divné kusy 3. A selection of her work has been collected in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She is presently on the editorial staff of Strange Horizons; she holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object.