Shalom Aranas‘s poem: First Bite

From the barn, she could 

hear the music of her

debut ball. But she would

rather brush the horses, the scent

of musk to the sweet tang 

of perfume. But she 

was not alone. He stood

by the entryway, someone

from the past, someone she saw 

visiting one night, when 

as a child, she sat by the banister

when he expected her asleep

someone who did not age

with a smooth, opal face

fully aware she had caught 

him unaware. His insignia ring

catching the light of the bitten

moon. Now, he moves

Towards her and bows

realising, in her fallow

heart this was the Lord

of Ogrencisi, her guardian.

She bowed in return 

and kissed his ring.

They danced the waltz

He was a large man

and she was forced

to twirl, back

to a sheaf of hay

where she landed, and was pulled up

to kiss her neck with a bite

that left her, hungry for blood. 


In The Forest of Goa

In the forest of Goa

lives the caretaker

abandoned with 

the house to keep.

the pandemic came

and so, there was no food

but for the fruits of forest.

He picked the pawpaw fruits

and set an elegant meal

for himself.

At night he could hear

the wailing of women

bereaved of husband,

Child or parent.

He left some open;

Pawpaw fruits

On large stones outside

The house

For the spirits of the dead

in passage through the night.


The next morning.

The stones were empty.

Shalom Galve Aranas is a freelance writer published in Synaeresis, Enchanted Conversation, The Prachya Review, and elsewhere. She is a loving single mother to Monika and Dylan.

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