Friday, October 5, 2018

The Red Line

The Red Line
Bobby Derie

When the sun rose, the curse of Inanna fell on Em-met, and he lay as one dead.
When the sun set, the blessing of Erishkegal fell on Em-met, and he rose as a part of the night.

He thanked the moon, and ran with the lions,
He fell on thief and brigand, and drank of their life,
He haunted the tombs of kings and priests,
And no temple would receive him.

His seed was all dried up,
Yet he did not want his line to end.

On a moonlit night he came across a dying woman,
Hard were the marks of life on her!
He did not slake his thirst,
But gave unto her what was his.
He added his blessings and curse to her own.

This is the red line of Em-met.

Ka-ma-ra is not the name she had in life,
It is what we know her of in the walking death.

She went where Em-met would not,
She defiled the high holy places,
She seduced the daughters of kings,
They bathed her feet and scented her with oils.

Em-met could not understand Ka-ma-ra,
Nor control her.

In the end, she sat beside him as he faced the sunrise,
And held tight his hand.

Bashti was the red daughter of Ka-ma-ra,
Daughter of her old age.

She spoke the new speech of the invaders,
She haunted the new temples and the old,
She withstood the blades of bronze and iron,
And she began the litany of Em-met.

Did Ka-ma-ra pass beneath the shadow of the world?
Bashti holds her tongue, now and forever.

So the red daughter passed to new lands,
Loneliness consumed her.

Here is the crime of Hekam,
Whom Bashti fed out of spite.

He was first-named of the slayers,
He became what he had hated and hunted,
He was hunted by his brothers,
And yet Bashti taught him the litany.

Hekam abashed himself at her feet,
He became her dog.

As a beast he wandered the dark shores of the river,
Until he came unto himself once more.

Hekam begat Arras, who suckled redly at the dog's teat,
Arras the Scarred, soldier of many wars.

Arras begat Caius, one of many who drank from the red goblet,
Caius who survived Arras' thirst.

Caius begat Gwenwyfhar, the first to ask for the red gift,
Gwenwyfhar who honored her great-grandmother Bakshi.

Gwenwyfhar begat Arryn, who was strong with the beast,
Arryn who feuded against the children of Hakim.

Arryn begat Terese, her final daughter,
Terese who stayed by her and held her hand as the sun rose.

This is the red line of Em-met.


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