singing the plains

by Rachael Bundock

she sings elephants to me as my eyes close
humpbacks rising from the river
whales of the plains; dried out
collapsing into their own wrinkles
with age, like her.
back to the river with me soon, she croons.
she remembers it before it happens —
her death.
passing into the water,
a baptism in reverse.
wrinkling elephants and
long-legged shell-birds,
slick scale brushes around her ankles.
and death,
a woman so beautiful
she can summon your soul from your body
by netting your eyes with hers.
rising from the riverbed —
legless and dripping deepmud brown,
hair knotting into a shroud.
black-ochre stripes passing over her skin
and mangrove swamps in her hair.
she sings elephants
and elephants sing back.

Rachael Bundock lives and writes in London where she co-edits Corvus Magazine, struggles with an aging laptop and has to step over the piles of books starting to colonise her home and call it their own. She has been published in Tales of Old and Hyperpulp and twitters away @coraxreviews.

When asked to name her favourite fruit, she replied as follows: "I feel like I should say something rather British and lovely like strawberries but in fact I will eat lemons in anything — something sharp and sweet that almost but-not-quite hurts when you eat it. Make of that what you will."

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