(From CHM #3 September 2020)

As we swim deeper, the water seems alive around us.

Her siren song is no longer sweet, not romantic. Not hers.

She is no longer my dove. She is the Mother of Monsters

She is beyond my sight, hidden in layers of shifting ocean water, when

Shadows coalesce into a shape, clawed and hissing my name.

This no dream, no vision, surely!

She tears my skin, rips it free of my bones.

I always felt bare before the Monster Mother, since the day she birthed me.

Now I am truly opened to her fangs. My skin-

No, no longer. My sinew feels hot. Slick. Sharks swim around my dangerous waters.

It glows red hot, painful, strengthening.

This defiance is new, different. She sees it, and cackles her disapproval.

I reach for her as she scrapes for me, but she shrinks away.

Her darkness falters before my bleeding muscle. Her sharks scatter before the light.

I have… Power now. Now that I am bare before her.

I am now the fighter, the chaser, the hunter. The teeth.

Prey after predator, Mother runs. Minnow after shark, I chase.

I pursue her with my glow. I capture her in the trap of my bones.

In my jaws, I hold her writhing penumbras. She lashes out.

She is scared now. She has never had the prey fight back.

Mother has never had to fight her own demons.

Bite. Crack. The shadows race off to the edges of the fiend’s ocean.

The smoke clears my vision, but the Monster has weakness now.

My dove’s siren song taught me how to swim.

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