Written by Emma Flynn
Art by Peng Yang
be not afraid—for i sit with my god. a god of storms and broken things and bodies touching in dark rooms—the saint of tombs and kisses upon shoulders and gentle vows and salted lips.
lay drenched poets upon my grave, lace beauty to rapture and praise my dripping wax and feathered wings. i—the prince of greed, the son of sons, the lover of golden kings—was born unto this world to fly. to fall. to sink.
he had tasted like lemons, that lord of heat and sky. would that i were not a wounded child i may have loved that burning touch. what is the point of a love that does not scald? what is the truth of a kiss that does not maim?
the others flow like water—like waves greased with oil, like justice upon your tongue. what lord of sun would not spew practiced words from an empty mouth? what prince of fire would not burn homesick children up?
i dream of ships cast of sorrow, of longing that scales tower walls, of labyrinths built for hidden sins. i have always bled blue blood—i am weightless and buoyant and i have never learned to flinch from a searing touch.
the melting point of wax is the heat of his golden body upon mine. free falling steals away the breath of lovers entwined—do palaces of summer clouds glitter in his gaze? do seas below and skies above swallow those he swore to catch?
he’s poetry—the itch of sage upon my thigh and the lick of flames within my stomach. i tumble; low and rough; to a sea that will not cradle me. fire is for the lonely—the sea is for the damned. i am dark and drowned and powerless in the absence of his touch.
i died for love—the love of sinners the love of saints the love of men who croon and smother and dine on feathered wings that drip from their lips like wax. i lived to one day fall as i did—harsh and brash and staring at shrinking hands that had once promised to hold me to the sky.
be not afraid, for my god is with me now. the sea can never heal my burns, just as the sun will never heed my cry.