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vol vi, issue 4 < ToC
Soiled Dove
by Marsheila Rockwell
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Bridge ofThe Purple
the Bees Sea
Soiled Dove
by Marsheila Rockwell
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Bridge of
the Bees




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The Purple
Sea
Soiled Dove
by Marsheila Rockwell
previous next

Bridge ofThe Purple
the Bees Sea
previous

Bridge of
the Bees




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The Purple
Sea
Soiled Dove  by Marsheila Rockwell
Soiled Dove
 by Marsheila Rockwell
He’d lived harder than most
And was given to drink
More so since the night
He got a little too rough
With a girl at Miss Kitty’s
And the bawd tossed him out
A permanent ban

*

Even more since the day
Kitty’s poor painted cat
Succumbed to her wounds
And they buried the chit
In back of the churchyard
Dates scratched on a cross
The only proof of her life

*

So no one took notice
When he began telling tales
Of being followed by birds
It was whiskey, they said
Or badly made moonshine
Though some whispered, Perhaps
It might have been guilt

*

Vultures, he claimed
His story unwavering
A murder of crows
Wing-to-wing with the harriers
For whom they were prey
All led by a dove
Spattered as with blood

*

No one took notice
Till they found his corpse
Torn to shreds, pecked to pieces
The strange flock of his tales
Still intent on their feast
Those trying to shoo them
Met with unblinking stares

*

A blood-sodden dove
Perched on the man’s skull
One foot in each eye socket
Cocked its head, nodded once
The other birds flew off
To the crags and the roosts
From whence they’d been called

*

The dove rose, a flutter of wings
Shat in the man’s mouth
Took a quick circuit
’Round Miss Kitty’s head
Then flew into the dark
Alighting, unseen
On the girl’s fresh grave

*

The bird melted to mist
Reformed in the shape
Of Miss Kitty’s girl
Who, looking up
Saw a glow as of angels
And heard their belled voices
Calling her home

*

But other sounds beckoned
Music and laughter
Wrapping all ’round her
A slow dance embrace
Turning her feet
From the light’s promise
Back to Kitty’s red door

*

The glow faded behind her
And with it, her ghostflesh
She was once more a dove
Albeit with eyes
More human than birdlike
Albeit with feathers
Spattered as with blood

*

Now she nests ’neath the eaves
Of Miss Kitty’s famed brothel
Where none are mistreated
For fear of her ire
And if you should spy her
Watching through the window
Best not to take notice