The Golem on My Tongue

by Alexandra Seidel

They say
that you can make a man from mud
a golem of earth;
I would
give you form, gather your mud
in the wet lines of my fingers as I trace
muscle, sinew and tendons, coax
bone and teeth from sand,
pound your loam face smooth;
I would sieve your hair
from the sediment of wild rivers that are searching
for the sea
and I would stroke it till it falls like waves;

Mud man, man of earth and sand
I would be your kiln,
gobble you down, swallow silt
and dirt and dust, chew
caked soil sweet
and I would gorge myself on you
until my mouth tastes only desert,
tastes only tiny rocks and pebbles, dirt roads,
the bitterness worms know best;

Last I would drink your word
diluted in rainwater and wind;
smudged and illegible on my lips it would linger
and I would
with questing tongue
lick vowel and sibilant, suck plosives down my throat
and I would feel your word
hours, days, ages later
like a shared moment
like the one kiss I stole from you
like the one thing I dare not give back;

In dark nights that smell of earth and mud,
and keep me cradled between the here and dream,
I might whisper your word, never really loud enough,
just so,
and I imagine
I might feel you stir inside me,
moving in my belly, the kiln that never burned
nor broke
and you would coil and twist like an angry mountain
until I said your word, shouted it
gave it to you like a farewell's bitter blessing.

Alexandra Seidel is a Rhysling-nominated poet, writer, and editor. She has a powerful affection for the unreal and strange, the weird, the wicked, and naturally, the beautiful. She loves speculative writing because all these things come together there with the power to create universes. Her work has appeared in Bull Spec, Strange Horizons, Jabberwocky, Mythic Delirium, and others. You can read her blog (which she really tries to update once or twice a month) or follow her on Twitter @Alexa_Seidel.

When asked to name her fruit, Alexandra replied as follows: "My favorite fruit are the apples from one tree in my grandfather's garden. The tree is long gone unfortunately, and I don't know what kind it was (although we did call it a 'Snow White apple,' which might in part explain my obsession with it.) Oh, and strawberries dipped in dark chocolate of course, but since they don't grow that way I don't suppose it counts."

Back to Table of Contents