“Leda,” Gustave Moreau, c. 1890, WikiArt.

Part 3: Death of Parthenope

To whispers of bleached bones I fled, tween
Life and death, sway of dreams drug-induced,
Pleasures preoccupied, Parthenope unaware
Of my soul’s escape. “Come to us,” voices
Beckoned. First, thought dead was I, until
Cadaveric forms stood upright, wispy souls
Of rows of ribs, undulating vertebrae, the
Unfleshed gathering all around. “Return
Her song, flatter her with love’s devotion,”
By tongueless teeth they stated, eye sockets
Alight in flame, revenge their deadly game,
Nectar-Poisoned fruit their toxic thief.

One skeleton, older woman I discerned, skull
Scalp hair still attached, in breathless words
Whispered at my ear, things so visceral and
Profane, I daren’t not repeat in poetic verse,
Yet to them I agreed, and returned to body
Pale, ways of flesh-defiling claws and beak.
“My love!” I startled awake, kisses and arms
Embracing feathered neck, of feigned desires
Shared, lust-dazzled eyes, Parthenope took
To circling flight, myself I gave to mercies
None, as chained Kardelen, shackled upon
Relentless might of ocean-raging rocks.

Alas! Jewelry of dead Parthenope adorned
Upon my naked frame, bracelets, necklaces,
Rings, lover’s glittering prize, impassioned
By such sights, she screamed, swooped,
Alighted, claws rock-tearing, talons incising
Breasts, dripping blood, tongue licking,
Wings beating from above, bound-chained,
By pungent taste of heaving cleft, orgasmic
Heights she reached, screeching upon wave-
Rough seas, collapsing atop of me, as if
Single chicklet egg-hatched, mother she
Was of jewel-decorated brooded bird.

“Goddess on the Rocks,” Gustave Moreau, WikiArt.

Beneath such weight I suffered, until she
Awakened, sweet scent of nectared fruit
Awaiting, delights for tongue and eyes,
Of these she shared, eating first, then
Retching into my mouth, rind and seeds,
Acrid taste of saliva slime, until honey-
Soaked figs she beheld, glanced at me, to
Them, fruit for herself kept, mortal bites
She took. Surprised betrayal, poisoned
Figs her blood congealed, heart silenced
Mid-beat. Death’s despair, headlong she
Fell into depths of foaming seas.

Chained and shackled, Kardelen is left to mercies of conniving skeletons, jewels
their sacred possessions. 
They have enabled her rescue, but at what cost? 

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