The Salem Witch Trials Cont. by S.Marie Clay

the winter first arrived as red
                        bird pecking facial features
out of skinning color into
                        the batten-down-sky

what is a hanging tree anyway
                        but hunger in the shape of vanishing fruit
where tinder girls
                        with flint heels kick

wintering—not seasonal but literal
                        the town is building fires
again where every body hangs low
                        as a bell tucked inside a forbidden word

should you see anything past fire
                        see hijab
see bones bare as the coiled bell
                        not lion’s drum, not cuckoo cymbal, but pealing

bells replace body replace
                       humming honeysuckle, replace
asphodel spreading its tarot parts among the living
                        replace church

courtyard ravished by wind-thirst
                        where bodies lay down like light
& unfasten bones from century
                        deep layers of snow & muzzle
S.Marie Clay is a PhD student at Western Michigan University where she teaches creative writing and currently serves as the head editor of Third Coast and Black Tongue Review and reads for New Issues Press. She is the author of Strange Couple from the Land of Dot and Line (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2014).