Would she spurn ...

Would she spurn the love of him,
deep and wide as ocean,
that heavy sway and eddy in her arms?
His warm-hearted plan was simple, a heavy potion
of drift and time, of coloured dreams drugging life
warmly as blood coursing.

His sturdy flanks, his hairless arms, his force of form ...
she should have been forewarned, forearmed
by life's frosted breath on the panes of her eyes.

She had seen the children shorn and bleeding,
known their faces, known their lies, 
watched them turn to earth and broken glass,
watched their mouths fasten on
poison and hopelessness - so how could
the potion last?

The swallow of shards that cut the throat -
the world's ills that churn the gut -
was she not invulnerable to the pain of it?
The savage loss, the hate in the heart,
the dread of gain?  Death-hurled she was, and knew it, 
knew the cross to come.
Still she foiled the plunge
over that dark cliff, refused the rise:
not yet, not yet, 
not time, she said.

It could not last, it could not last ...
the past still clogged her blood,
pulled her down the pit 
she had learned -
her soul wedged in darkness, dredged
out of mind -
"Why have you forsaken me,
your own kind?" she cried.

There where skin was flayed, 
stretched taut, her body knowing gouge and knot
the callous thrust of sword,
crosspiece secured 
by hoops of iron indriven,
a bitter crown spiked her head ...
fixed in eternity it was
her given death.

Arms nailed in place, 
wall an inch from her face, 
she was forced to breathe the blackness in,
there was no answering

No eye could cast past that cold beam
to alight on her, and not falter ...
how could she free herself
the watchers asked.

She diminished and regressed, 
was recast, 
the mould pressed and filled
then pulled apart, 
used once and broken.

Not here, not less, she was more than this -
and we, by staring down such height and pace,
such light,
knew the Inquisitioner's tools 
were arrayed and ready,
we heard the advancing steps
but she was primed, steady as she would be - 
it was time.

In that chrism of saliva
where the heart drips like life released
from passage here
and staring eyes recoil the heat -
there one finds
endeavour and the floods of loss.

They undid the body from the wood
and it was light, a thing of air.
Her thought force, pure and clear,
spread shining as a stream of light, 
brilliant here,
repelling all foul oils 
in this foul place.  
The human dregs still
sedimenting that black pool
were redeemed.

Heavy screens, carefully crafted, were battened 
over the scene, bridges spanned the water
denying light, but sense was enough 
to distinguish the rock entrance 
to know the real and alive
from the falsely pious.  

Did she spurn the pain
of such a gift of life from him,
compassion welling in his eyes,
those fatherly hands 
that blessed her hair with love?
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