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Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Writing by Michael Wu. Artwork by Yury Aleksanyan and Kate Granholm.

The Sphinx

White, death does finding

with sand inks a tread unburied.

Steps omened in salted skies,

Girl she remembers woe

Gray is her color by sad city York,

Where snakes make their forks

Down her, thumbs of paths.

Arches bite where she goes.

Many crows can leer,

Chance her path, blind her ears.

So it is not grain she grabs but corpses of birds,

All raw, when night fleshes her own.

Drip bare, the lady she forgets

Like wounds, fingers everywhere.

Sunset and ash black empty chairs,

It is not man she fears.

See, mountains breathe their dreams

For it’s when they shed their trees,

And watch blood crabs find retreat

In sad hour of a setting sea.

Edges she sway her legs,

There is mother, honey she awaits

at beach remains no Death who knows,

The rivers she comes for home.

No water soon does crossing,

Without pries of quiet hands

Heat beats summer sets,

And the new cicadas sing.

The Storm

Read my palms old mail’s maid

The little sun can hardly bade,

Its shadows not farther in gaze,

Of crone’s old finger raised.

For what eye shall allow this path,

Like no shepherd knows to chase.

His sheep, my lambs, are faith,

Loving on the sharp grasses’ haze.

Resting below many ancients’ tomb,

My church in lids unopened, loving arms,

Pale this visage harbor, warmth of farm,

Parlor me newborn shades of womb.

Yet I hear darkening,

Horns drawn among the clouds.

Smell rain that so fell from heaven,

Disturbed am I not theirs to look

Cursed life hither in darkness born.

What, these things descend

Are what nights dare not dream.

To world ghastly past has set free.

You, are thou not my lambs?

Clap, snow rolls cold thunder,

Dare what snow buries you fast,

Pale but ebony over these stairs last.

No rein on my midnight children,

Bodies, bodies, bodies walk on precipice,

Shedding shedding shedding to bear

Scarlet frozen on my wolfish tear.

Blue iris melt soft stones,

To race forever the darkness bones,

For beneath raven bed I have buried sleep,

The man has becometh the lamb.

So read my palms old mail’s maid.

The little valley made a shade,

Upon sorrows long part it may,

On late, no more, shepherd’s day.

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