From the Earth’s embrace, her lover pulled away.
She asked, “What is wrong?”
He replied, “You kissed me once and it was warm. But when you kissed again, it was cold, like the lips of a corpse. What does this mean?”
She said, “It means I will be the one to kill you.”
“No, ” he said. “Surely it is not so.”
She replied, “Do you think you know me? Am I only love and life and pleasure? The milk of my left breast is medicine but my right suckles poison. When you press your body to me my lips shall become rose petals but my nipples thorns. When you enter my vulva you shall find a cloth of silk but also a razor. Or do you keep another mistress who dispenses your woes?”
He said, “You are all things to me.”
She said, “My body is this earth. From my womb flows all things seen and unseen, and all this is my creation. If you do not embrace my creation, you do not embrace me. Or would you rather have never lived than die in my arms?”
He said, “You know it is not so, but still I am afraid.”
She replied, “Your fear is a little bird. Keep it and care for it as you would your own child. In time it will fly you to me. With a kiss I give life and with another I take it away. Between these two kisses is my embrace.”
He said, “O Goddess, you are my lover!”
She said, “Mine are powers greater than you can imagine, but yours is the power to fulfill me. Come. Let us give body to our communion.”
And they embraced.
Rotting Silver is a column devoted to this Earth in all its tarnished radiance: poetry, prose, and parables of ugliness alloyed with joy.
A version of this piece was first published at The Witch’s Voice.
B. T. Newberg: Since the year 2000, B. T. has been practicing meditation and ritual from a naturalistic perspective. He currently volunteers as Education Director for the Spiritual Naturalist Society, where he is creating an online course in naturalistic spirituality. His writings can also be found at Patheos and Pagan Square, as well as right here at HP.
Professionally, he teaches English as a Second Language. After living in Minnesota, England, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea, he currently resides in St Paul, Minnesota, with his wife and cat.
After founding HumanisticPaganism.com in 2011 and serving as managing editor till 2013, he now serves as advising editor, and feels blessed to be a part of this community.