Twilight of the gods / Tiffany Elliott

Pile of red fishing nets and ropes.
 

A fisherman heeded no warning and dragged Skeleton Woman by a rib bone heavenward.  Jaw dropping, she howled as she crowned. Above the waves, jingle and clank, bones reordered and sewn together with fishing line and sinew.

The ocean receded, draining from her. She thirsted. A battle march as she cupped fisherman’s stubbled jaw and pulled him close, put her mouth to his eye, sucked his tears.

Skeleton Woman bared the fisherman, slipped a finger into his warmth, retrieved the heart, clasped it to her core. Freed of men, she shared a curse through yellow teeth, battle hymns in the throb of ocean tides: Flesh, flesh, flesh.

Seaweed grew faint, spread, mounded on her ribs and pelvis, sprouted from her skull.  A wind carried the fishing boat to shore, to the waiting.

A century of sunken vessels will warn against strange women’s songs, unbroken and dire. Her children are idols in miniature, tales passed between the women who dress fishermen in burial robes. They know there are no happy marriages. Raising a glass to the sea at midday, they will share in her curse and be drunk.

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Tiffany Elliott was born and raised in sunny Southern CA and is currently a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing candidate at New Mexico State University. Her works explore issues of abuse, trauma, and how recovery and resiliency allow people to remake themselves. Her work has appeared in isacoustic*, MUSE, Pacific Review, and Indie Blu(e)’s “We Will Not Be Silenced” anthology, and is forthcoming in Riggwelter, Inlandia, and Swimming with Elephants’ “Light as a Feather” anthology.

See more: tiffanykelliott.com / @TiffanyKElliott