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The Chalice

By Cara Bullinger

One lunar dance before the spring equinox,  
She was an empty chalice on a stone altarDraped with mold and rotted clothCrumbling under a sky of cindered stars.  

The dead, charred moon was the fruit  
After the sin, flung from the ivory hand  
Into the grass, shriveled, dark blood-red,  
Like wine droplets still clinging  
To the chalice left overturned by the man.
Now she is bitter for one so young,  
Left with only the dregs of his spittle  
And the memory of his straight, hard back  
When he walked into the west.  

But far beyond the meeting place  
Of eastern sky and mountain 
The sun is ascending  
To dim the dark of her night.  
The cup-rim glows with rising light.  

A high, white bird sings across the sky.  
One songnote before the cup  
Will hold the molten sun,  
She holds the bird 's cry and image  
Within her chaliced mind.  

Cara Bullinger