the sorcerer’s price
by Maya Chhabra
for my next trick i will array a skeleton as a bride
and i will do it so finely that she will be wed
i will do it so finely you will think she speaks vows
i will deck her in lace and gold in equal measure
i will wind the dress about her hard bones
and i will veil her empty face
i will not make her live, but i will make her lovely,
lovelier than the blush of the living rose,
till you are clamoring to marry death
for my next trick i will charm the soul from within you
i will have it out your mouth as you lean in for a kiss
i will ferry you across the river
and then i will dance with your bones.
Maya Chhabra is a poet and writer living in New York. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Liminality, Mythic Delirium, Kaleidotrope, Star*Line, Anathema, Timeless Tales, Abyss & Apex, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, Through the Gate, Mezzo Cammin, and Plainsongs. Her short fiction has appeared in Cast of Wonders and Anathema, and her translations from the Russian in Cardinal Points.