THE OFFERING

BY AMANDA CRUM

She blooms like orchids in the dark, her laugh
just this side of manic as she leads those boys
to their doom. Tangled hair like the underside
of a crow’s wing, gasoline flicker in eyes like moss.
She can get away with anything.

She tells them stories about growing up in the woods,
circles back around to the haints when she has them reeled in.
Southern boys always have something to prove so
they walk as one into the trees with their arms back,
afraid to let on how afraid they are.

After, she leads them to the water’s edge and does
a little dance for them under the moon. They stand rooted,
gutted, waiting for what comes next, but her offering is to the lake.
Green water painting her marble form like Degas would,
her silhouette like a slash of paint in the black Kentucky night.

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