Gilles De Rais
despite the legends, he kept an impeccable house
even the tiny room where the children were kept
was bereft of any evidence of crime. the bones
were always immediately take out back and burnt,
the clothes and the shoes were cleaned and sent out
to be distributed among the poor.
he was only married twice, and both wives
were as guilty of the crimes as he was.
the first one died of a fever soon after
they were married, possibly from eating raw meat
while the second one, more careful
choked to death on a tiny ring wrapped
around a tiny finger.
it was because of love that he consumed both women
shared their pale, limp bodies with his guests
burned them in the pit out back with the rest of the
stripped, bloody bones—they wouldn’t have understood
any other kind of tribute, not from him.
Words of Wisdom Concerning Water
You can never see your reflection in water pooled in the palms
Of your own hands. Try it. It’s impossible. I think
Your hands would have to be as deep as oceans and as wide as canyons
For your face to show up in the water you’ve cupped in your hands.
There are myths about people falling into the water after falling in love
With their own reflections, that the face they saw peering out at them from the
Rocky depths of fish-fouled water was so fucking beautiful that
They just had to try to kiss it, but no, I don’t believe it
No one could be that stupid, to not know what their own face looked like
to have not seen their reflection a thousand times before
in dirty run-off ponds, in a wooden bowl filled with still soup,
In a TV cop’s mirrored sunglasses. I just don’t believe it.
If it’s cold enough that the water pooled in your hands begins to freeze solid,
You should go inside. You’ll catch your death from that kind of cold.
If it evaporates from exposure to the wind and the heat
You should get more. You can’t have too much water
On a day like that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Holly Day was born in Hereford, Texas, also known as “The Town Without a Toothache.” She and her family currently live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches at the Loft Literary Center. Her published books include Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Guitar All-in-One for Dummies.