by C. S. MacCath

We dive into the abyssal waters of that otherness, trancing,
Archaic symbols twining about our throats, silvery nooses,
Old soul memory a provenance of oxygen, nourishing our cells,
And the world is transformed --

There, behind the chemical burn of cubicle food,
A fall of sun-warmed apricots, orange and sweet.
There, beneath a smooth mortuary of concrete,
Billions of seeds, patient as suns, wait to uncurl.
There, beyond the gabble and woe of a hundred channels,
A living Earth calls to us, strains our fetters --

With a voice like the chime of a waterfall:
"Will you not come? Will you not leap like a stag onto the crossroads and turn to the left, the way of removing, and turn again until your fetters are broken? Will you not flee into the forest then, and be free?"
Surfacing, our silvery symbols burn like frostbite,
Flashing with a moon-white intensity we had never reckoned,
Pulling us out, out, out. We can see the road now, just there,
But our fetters are bloody razor wire, cutting our flesh,
And between them, we weep.

C. S. MacCath's poetry and fiction have appeared in Strange Horizons, Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness, Murky Depths, Mythic Delirium, and others. You can learn more about her work here.

When asked of what poem the word "cherry" immediately makes her think, she replied, "Yeats' 'The Stolen Child,' of course. But then, I'll use almost any excuse to be reminded of his poetry."

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