Camouflages freckled cheeks, while you,
around a slender trunk, would peek. Beige winged.
the moth against your youthful face, just two
common wood nymphs, inside this sacred space,
unrecognizable as divine. Hide
behind a longleaf pine to watch a herd
of flower-faced deer first panic, collide,
abruptly disappear. No noise is heard
of human feet. A profile view, no eyes
will meet sister’s suitor, the blooming one
whose buzzing almost hypnotized
you until his gesture towards the sun
delays its evanescence, darkened sky.
Neither human, common, but he must die.
This was the final poem I wrote for Flutter: Southern Gothic
Fever Dream. I turn this manuscript in on Monday to my editor,
and I’m beyond excited to let it Flutter into the world. It is inspired
by the longleaf woods I live inside. It is also inspired by the imagination
that frees us from the limitations of the physical body. This sonnet takes
place when two characters invented by the informed adolescent Sylvia
Dandridge at last meet. The boyish bee demon Etienne has played a
role in the protagonist’s sister’s death, and she had sought him for some
revenge. She observes him collecting information on her enemy that confirms
he is a supernatural entity. Though Fey knows she is but a common wood
nymphlike the moth who camouflages her face during her surveillance,
she is determined to kill this devil who she believes killed her sister.