• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 06
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Lithica, Queen of the Bloodstone

At the cliff edge she dances alone
but her water spirit ripples out her name—
Lithica, Queen of the Bloodstone.

Clouds commune as she circles,
her hips locked, feet planted, a crimson ortholith,
an angel risen up from the earth's core.

We listen as her heart flatlines,
we watch her arc above our world and she waits,
for this is the long part of dying.

Her taut skin redolent of war,
she is the fresh meat of flesh glistening,
the human pared back to animal.

Her cry is the keening of every mother
who has lost a child, the earthy iron of the unborn,
each little life extinguished.

Who will lay down on the Bloodstone?
Who shall we sacrifice to appease the ancients?
Will it be me, or will it be you?

Our fate is the algal bloom of the toxic river.
Our fate is the rock face weathered by acid rain.
Our fate is the red earth leached of all she has given.
Lithica, Queen of the Bloodstone, is her name.