Four Mothers of Demons | by Hillary Leftwich

Agrat Bat Mahlat: Mother of illusion and magic.

The demons strayed and spirits hung themselves in air. The crows speak first, offering a feather here, a trinket there, a kill-skull. Rabbits curl inside womb-warm burrows. On rooftops, she is on fire, dragging the dead as a net behind her. They lust. Her body is not for human or demon. They say they are one and the same. One desperate glance as she burns through night, the final countdown of hearts about to die. If you listen close, they sound just like a mother’s death prayer.

Mahalath: Mother of Agrat Bat Mahlat and queen of the dancing demons.

Now there are demons, wings folded like fall leaves ready to be broken. The blood from the women’s thighs turns the season. Daughter streaks through the sky, mistaken for dying stars. Once, there was no one. The demons fought from their root-wombs in the trees, followed me home. Their feet bruised the earth until it scarred. A path into nothing. I do not remember when there were others here. Soon, their wings will crack open, desire dripping from hoof and muzzle. They know my voice and nothing else, not even the moon killing the sun slow and soft. It is night again and the crows cry a death song. My demons watch me, impatient like children, tongues tasting air. Waiting for me to move. For my final word to fall.

Naamah: Mother of divination, beauty, and sex.

Our bodies fold together, bending, binding. Skin slides and quakes with each tiny death. The number three is the first sacred number. Shatter me with each thrust. Let our friction frenzy into a catalyst. Do you see the currents unfold before the flood? They cannot break our lust. Let the land dream of oceans, waves slipping skin over bones. They say demons die like humans. Hold your breath and count to three. Try to keep your eyes off me.

Lilith: Maiden of Desolation (in three mythologies).

                                                                                Lilith Leaves Eden

Remember we were created together, one thread, broken in two. You command I lie beneath you. I killed the version of the woman you love. I have my wings. Look at you, watching me float away. A scowl and a shake, wishing we were not born as one. The Eden beneath my feet is tiny. Hell is in the faces of the lush. There is no one left to answer to. It is easy to forget. You will turn in the night and reach for me. Are you afraid? You should be. The serpent warned you with its tongue. It tastes you and whispers, I’ve always loved you more.  

                                                              Lilith as Thief of Newborn Children

I perch on your windowsill, waiting for the candle to burn low. The smell of soap and fresh skin hangs in the air of your room. Do not look now, I am coming in. How do mothers do it? This comforting of flesh. Pick your head up, child, and look at my horror. Sssh do not cry, I will tickle your feet. Do you hear that? It is the sound of your soul smacking against the walls. Your breath playing hide and seek. Your skin is the perfect shade of blue. I cradle you in my wings, rub talon against cheek. I am your mother now.

                                                                              Lilith as Seducer

One last dream and I have slipped inside your bed, naked and sweeping my lips across yours. My beauty makes men weep. I push you inside of me as the crows call your name, listen. You moan and gasp a terrible song. It is always the same. I want your seed, not you. I am darkness and you are nothing. Call this night a sacrament, a testament, a holy union. Call it what you will to stop the trembling. If those crows were blackbirds, you might have a chance. Blame the lost blessings, the prayers left to wander. I am your savior, your God, your coming Eucharist. Scream my name. You will remember me in the morning. When dying, they always want more.  



Hillary Leftwich currently lives in Denver with her son. She is the poetry and prose editor for Heavy Feather Review and co-host for At the Inkwell Denver, a monthly reading series In her day jobs she has worked as a private investigator, maid, repo agent, and pinup model. Her writing can be found in print and online in The Missouri Review, Hobart, Smokelong Quarterly, Matter Press, Literary Orphans, Sundog Lit, NANO Fiction, and others. Her first book, Ghosts Are Just Strangers Who Know How to Knock, is forthcoming in spring of 2019. Find her online at and on Twitter @hillaryleftwich.


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