Adam Henry Carrière ~ Danse Diabolique

dmaaAnd if something peers from the branches,
touching the skin with a chill of terror-
don’t be afraid! It’s the tiny faces of children,
cherished under the protection of evil deeds.
Bella Akhmadulina, St. Bartholomew’s Night

 

October’s dusk swirls
in the satin cloak of bats,
their radar singing out
smiles made by tiny fangs.

These couriers of living night
hold delicately engraved invitations
wrought by quills carved from secret ossuaries
and inked with only the finest ancestral blood.

They carry these, over the mists
of sleep-nerved villages,
inside gaunt shadows of Jura frost
to gilded salons and ursine lodges,
where lurid collections of decapitated animals
create the vague air of embalmment
the best families east of Vienna luxuriate in.

Stripped bare lime trees
carved mortar and bone
sanguinated plains
lovingly-preserved organs
…how they all invoke the solstice.

This is where pentagrams of moonlight
shine into ripened harvests
of vanished battlefields,
where hearts break,
untouched of sacrament
and other such crypts of man.

Under these conditions, we will speak
to the dead – our nakedness
its own shroud, our unworldly voices
a waltz heard by all Carpathia,
Our transparent names flown into the ages
by these silken black flocks.

 

 

Adam Henry Carrière is an author, publisher, professor, and former NPR broadcaster. Read his interview with Duotrope’s Digest here.
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