Bacchus, to the Dead Boy | by Marilyn Schotland

Darling, don’t worry;

they will tear you to pieces in the same, accursed city where everyone
else in your family will meet their doom. And of course,
this place is hungry for fool’s blood. No matter how many times
you raze this place with salt kissed invocations,
              some things will never change.

You will always be born from the mouths of beasts,
in a fragmented space like the thunderclouds on the horizon.
The body that you want to separately believe you hold dominion over,
will be dissolved like sugar water by mothers, maggots, and maidens.
             Wine stopped giving relief months ago.

(Starling; I have invoked you in the old men on porcelain limbs,
tottering about like birds and prophesying to the sky. They will
keep you safe for a time, in the way your screams echoed across the mountains.)
In my day, we called it a sacrifice. What could be nobler
            than the certainty of death?

Perhaps the only consolation I can give you is this:
I have caused your memory to soak like wine into the ground,
Not atrophy in the starlight like the other gods would have you do. This
is a kindness, like dropping prey into dragon sown furrows,
              hoping for a new crop. And so I say to you;

don’t worry, darling.




Marilyn Schotland is a 20-year-old poet, currently studying History of Art and French Language at the University of Michigan. She is the co-founder and poetry editor of Bombus Press and her work has appeared in Sea Foam and L’Éphémère Review. She likes peaches, Hieronymus Bosch paintings, and winter seascapes. 


*Read a review of Bacchus, to the Dead Boy by Hannah Cohen in The Wilds!


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