Chasing KatishaChasing Katishaby Shannon HilsonKatisha likes to think of herself as a puzzle she has yet to solve, a breathing conundrum constructed of delicate, jewel-like layers artfully assembled and infinite in number. Each time she peels away one of these layers in order to better behold the one beneath, she gives herself a new name. In years past by use of this method, she has interwoven with her own persona that of a sharpened killing dagger, a seldom-seen and rarely mentioned species of shark, a faceless heroine from a well-known poem, and numerous reflections of deities from long-dead religions. These days she identifies most strongly with a bi
The Weaver and the ShadowThe Weaver and the Shadowby Shannon HilsonIn the darkest room of the most distant castle in a land none of us has ever seen, for it exists beyond the edge of even our wildest dreams, sits one whose purpose it is to weave. On her Loom of Days she has given birth to the lives of heroes and to the folly of kings in interlocking silken fingers of purple and carmine. She has even conceived of the trials of the lowly in skeins of coarse grey and brown, shot through with slim threads of cornflower blue. As it often is with those whose purpose is all-encompassing and poignant, she has no true memory... except for some nights. Those very same nigh
The SatinsThe Satinsby Shannon HilsonWe are satin. We are shiny, smooth and refined, but our underbellies are rough and complex. We are roses. We are beauty in theory, but we draw blood. We walk among you. We may even be you. You would not be consciously aware, but in your heart of hearts, if you are honest with yourself, this knowledge smells like truth to you. We are satin and we are older than time.We were feathered once. We lived on rocks and waited for others to come along and feed our souls. We waited for others to come along and die for the idea of satin. We sang in so many shades of orange. Bright, tart tangerine to draw down the righteou
CinnabarCinnabarby Shannon HilsonShe had often pondered the possibility that time could slip past its boundaries and become something other than just those hours one through twelve, repeated in an endless loop for all time. Sometimes people believe things to be so simply because they have been told that this is the way it is and that there are no alternatives. The mind can take over, and make one blind to other possibilities, but she knew better. She knew that sometimes the Witching Hour can stretch itself like sweet taffy, and wander on into hour thirteen. It is in that hour that true perception can begin.She knew that she remembered nights af
Bee DarlingBee Darlingby Shannon HilsonLiquid yellow worldWrapped around Bee DarlingUnder the lightOf the moon at noonReverie balanced like a dancerAtop a block from the ice house.Bee Darling, you are sweet.Red paper lanternsHoney lightLemon loverAura bright.Cottage in the NorthBuilt around Bee DarlingDampness of mossFills the path of the wagon.Silence is the song of the yearAnd the swollen moon that governs here.Bee Darling, you are chronic.Dizzy dulcetRaven hairPennyroyalHoney pear.Dandy Lion heartBeating for Bee DarlingButter yellow confusionDaffodil laughter sweet and sharpRiddles, feathers, ap
Glass PrayerGlass Prayerby Shannon HilsonI prayed for courageSo that I could count to tenAnd so that lions would recognize meAs one of their own.For this cloakEarned little by littleAnd stitch by stitchBut earned just the same.For beauty.For truthful reflectionsThat compare meTo queens and seekers.For rosesFor thorns.Do the two notGrow side by side?For transformation.For fire.For wind.And always for seasons.For wisdomFor knowing glass is born of strengthAnd that a heart made of suchIs a treasure indeed.I prayed to put herIn the ground where she belongs.To sing her to sleepIn her bed beneath the ho
Apollo's SheepApollo's Sheepby Shannon HilsonAmorphous and strangeAre these wishes we haveLike the sheepThat follow Apollo's leadLike the secret jewelsHidden under their woolAnd the crystalline kissesThat appeared on my windowWhile I slept softly in fractionsAnd dreamed of him in days.Impossible and fragrantAre these wishes we haveLike the light that escapedFrom the bedroom of ZeusWhen distracted he left the door ajarCompletely unawareHe had just shown me HeavenAnd now I knowWhat color skirt she wearsAnd how she dresses her hair for bed.Mercurial and rareAre these wishes we haveLike the snow on the beachTha
InkInkby Shannon HilsonBecoming is like taking upA crystal goblet full of purple inkThe stuff that begets hatters and rabbitsAnd curious oysters with bad endings in their cardsAnd drinking it downTaking in all those not-yet thoughtsThose embryonic fantasiesThose epiphanies still wrapped in their silversAnd making them yoursJust yoursJust yours in their brillianceIn their ever-changing solaceAnd using them to change your stars.
The Catherine WheelThe Catherine Wheelby Shannon HilsonShe was a butter yellow star coachA spinning cordite limousineA vehicle of wondersA dizzy acid glitter queenA dangerous dancerA mad and lovely kite on highA dagger-wielding dervishMaking ribbons of the skyA galaxy of vertigoA fever devil spark displayA chemical delusionA harbinger of holidayA white-hot golden specterA smoking ghost, a melon rindA sizzling confusionTattooed in crimson on my mind.