8:2: “Grace in the Desert”, by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff

8:2: “Grace in the Desert”, by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff
The desert angels come for us at day break.
I see them skimming over barren sand dunes,
leathery wings stretched wide like alabaster nightmares,
mottled with the blood-red light of sunrise through the haze.

“Look,” I say, and heave my lover’s corpse more upright,
“here they are, they want us still, despite our sins—
we shall rise up and greet the morning in their arms.
I told you not to go and die too soon—just look, they come!”

Such lovely dreams these hovering angels bring,
their kisses sweet as honey on my waiting, thirsting lips,
flood down my throat with singing, stinging grace,
erasing all dim memories of the time before they came.

No more now shall I have to face the image of my father’s scorn,
the haunting picture of our friends and family lining up
to cast us out, and make us journey though the shifting sands,
hand in dry hand, together always as we swore we’d always be.

And when the angels feed I can not feel it, can not see more
than their lovely, bleak, inhuman faces, painted on
the sand-pale skin along their ray-flat undersides, nuzzling,
nibbling with their suckered mouths, at our joined hands.


Marcie Lynn Tentchoff is a writer/poet from the west coast of Canada, where she exists on high levels of caffeine and stress. Her work has appeared in such publications as Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, Dreams & Nightmares, and Mythic Delirium. Her latest poetry collection, Through the Window: A Journey to the Borderlands of Faerie, has been nominated for an Aurora Award. It is available through Amazon. She says:

Once upon a time, while working on my world building, I envisioned a very hot planet, with large deserts. In those deserts I placed a race of creatures called desert angels, so called because they were the last thing people journeying through the desert would see before meeting their god. “Grace in the Desert” is the product of recent thoughts about that world.



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