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Helene Macaulay

The Initiate


The moon reflects her silver charm  
Off the first December snowfall
Illuminating the ceiling
With powdery incandescence
In bed beside myself

The sagging flesh feels almost foreign
But at this magic hour of visions and music
The soul drifts toward the primordial
I’m more inclined now to consider the possibilities
Of shape-shifting and time travel
And that the inexplicable is merely the unrevealed
Once, on a sweltering summer night
On a quiet street in Queens
A man approached 
He held his hands in prayer and bowed
And asked me to point out the nearest subway station
His forehead was stained with kumkum
Crimson as a wound
And in his burning eyes
I saw the entirety of existence 
For the very first time

He bowed again and walked on
Newly anointed, I stared ahead
Into the darkness he had occupied
And glancing back not a moment later
He was vanished
Like a flame spent
Into thin air

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