Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Tale the Lilitu Told

You ask?
I shall tell you then,
O brave man,
as you sit there,
beneath the silver moon,
while the breeze stirs the leaves,
while the incense wafts up to the sky
in pale, ghostly tendrils,
and the fire burns low,
and you smile at me,
in this gods-forsaken place.

I shall tell you then,
a tale of how a maiden
running from what she knew,
the taste of the whip,
a man's unwanted touch
things she feared more than the wilderness,
moved across the wastes
from shadow to shadow,
desperate in her thirst,
hiding from the hard ways of men,
until she found
the more unfathomable ways
of those who are not men,
not really.

His eyes glowed golden in the midnight,
and his oiled hair shone
beneath the moon, fragrant.
Even though I hid, shaking like a leaf,
in the cleft of a rock he should not have noticed,
he did,
and gazing at me,
seeing into night's depth,
his golden eyes pierced me.
His limbs grew smoke-like,
wrapping around me in the shadows,
tasting my skin,
touching me until I burned with fire.
Fire, yes,
I was the fuel he needed,
and as he drew me out of the cleft,
he consumed me utterly.

Thus I am what you find tonight,
a voice in the shadows,
I would run away, if I were you,
lest you find me
wrapping my hunger all around you,
kissing your golden skin
beneath the moonlight,
ready at last
to feed.

The Assyrian lilitû were said to prey upon children and women and were described as associated with lions, storms, desert, and disease. They were highly sexually predatory towards men but were unable to copulate normally. They were thought to dwell in waste, desolate, and desert places.

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