Bone Altar

— Leslie Marie Aguilar

Legends begin with valerian root, red clover, & a touch of tequila. But this myth is birthed from rhodonite. Ask your ancestors about smoke, & they’ll point in the direction of a purple whirlwind spiraling south—where cyclones signal the place of blood rituals. Spirits become tongue-tied, there. Flowers bloom in their mouths as miniature suns. They sing of grief, of a woman who strangled her children. How she roped their bodies to a redbud branch, coated its bark in honey, waited for fire ants. Her fruit, an offering. Bruised by an altar of bone too wicked to be washed clean.


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