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Valya Dudycz Lupescu – Pray (with "Pan and Syrinx" by Jacob Jordaens)

The robin sits in my lap, resting gentle feathers
while I play two clear notes, like drops of rain on dandelions.
I close my eyes, and deep within the acrid, crackling hearth smells
are sage, thyme, marjoram, yarrow.
Around me, roots throb under moist soil; rabbits run
in rhythmic hops; bushes rustle like chimes in winter;
flowers quiver—their blossoms bursting.
The heartbeat of this forest is mine,
an undertone of breath and wind
and pulsing beats beneath the greenery.
All sound catches in my throat when I see you,
and I pull the pipe away. My tongue runs
like the stream across my lips. You step closer. I sweep
my hand through gnarled hair, watching leaves fall.
With quickened breaths, I lift my pipe again,
my playing fierce. I ache to taste salty tears
gleaned in the flushed hollow of your young neck.
You stop. I wait for the scream to shatter my opus;
but you step toward me.
Like the autumn winds, I toss off your frocks
and crawl under your skin. I feast
until all that is left is an echo,
and your skin falls into feathers on the wind.

Click here to listen to Valya Dudycz Lupescu reading "Pray"

Valya Dudycz Lupescu received her MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, after which she taught composition and creative writing at several Chicago universities, eventually founding Conclave: A Journal of Character. Her historical novel, The Silence of Trees, was published in 2010 (Wolfsword Press) in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook (2012, Iambik Audio). She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the historic Cliff Dwellers Club, and she sits on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Writers Association. She helps to facilitate a monthly gathering of writers and artists called the Chicago Creative Coop.
(Photo courtesy of Kyle Cassidy)

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