by Mari Ness

In the spring, I give my husbands
their deaths, killing them
with the budding of roses,
the pushing of leaves from the ground.
The dry soils part as my hands approach:
one husband lowered into the earth
each spring.

In the summer, I feast on meadowgrass
and fruit, rich and tender meats
and delicate fish, drenched 
in sugars and wine.

In the fall, I take new husbands
dragging them to beds
warmed by dying summer fires.

In the winter, I tell tales. I tell tales.

I do this to bring another tale to spring,
in the midst of green rebirth,
not of the ever virgin, rising from the earth
to sink in snow each winter,
raped by twilight and death,
but of the glow of the summer sky
after a monstrous rain, or of
the many deaths of spring
in the harsh kindness of flowers,
the buds that push against the sky.
The way summer can taste of heat
and death, and the way fall — oh fall —
brings its own soft comfort,
its growing shadows,
the glowing embers
of fallen leaves.

Mari Ness has published poetry and fiction in numerous places, including Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Ideomancer and previous issues of Goblin Fruit. For a not exactly complete list of her works, visit her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter at mari_ness. She lives in central Florida.

When asked about her favorite type of weather, Mari initially made some profane and completely irrelevant comments about the humid heat of a Florida summer, which is not her favorite type of weather. At all. She does, however, love the great summer thunderstorms that roll in from the Gulf of Mexico, that crackle through her thoughts and force her to go to a window or door to watch the rain. Or so she claims. She'd tell you about the delightful chills of the first days of real winter (or the occasional days of what people in Florida call "winter") and first snows, if she could actually remember these in a Florida July.

Back to Table of Contents