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We Greet the Solstice

By Avra Margariti in Issue Five, July 2022

Inside extant skulls of extinct giants
We’ve made our homes for many a summer
Solstice. Wildflower wreaths, crowns, garlands
Ornament the colorlessness of bone,
Our way of giving thanks to the earth
For not having annihilated our kind just yet.

On solstice eve, ritual celebrations:
Small children playing in the dark
Under candles burning lambent along ribs
Immense, planted in soil like monstrously mutated orchids.
In their shade the children grow tall enough
To touch sternums of sun-bleached white,
Feeling the powder of non-existence rub
Against their growing pains.

For couples to wed, they must tie themselves
To their colossus’ spinal column,
Dangling like twin lungs all day long.
If they hold onto each other, if the old bone
Does not crumble, the red string doesn’t snap,
Limbs remaining firmly in their sheaths,
They shall be united evermore.
If not, they shall vow to meet again in the next lifetime
Whilst they crush as one to the unforgiving ground.

We bed down in our giant’s vacant eye sockets.
From the guts of night we watch the moon, its own hulking
Skull from outer space. In the morrow we will greet
The solstice with dances and feasts, a merry-go-round
Of ribbons fanned from queerly fragile fingerbones.
Goodnight, we say for now and blow out the candles
Rendering our giant sightless with sleep.

© Avra Margariti

Avra Margariti

Avra Margariti is a queer author, Greek sea monster, and Rhysling-nominated poet with a fondness for the dark and the darling. Avra’s work haunts publications such as Vastarien, Asimov's, and F&SF. The Saint of Witches, Avra’s debut collection of horror poetry, is available from Weasel Press. You can find Avra on twitter (@avramargariti).

Poetry by Avra Margariti
  • Misconceptions Regarding the Moon
  • We Greet the Solstice
  • I, Luminescence