Death is just a rite of passage,
my daughter said on the day of her execution.
I’ll be back to fight the tyrant and his ghouls
mowing them down by the thousands
when the white crescent in my hand
flexes its willowy body and becomes a scythe.
And cry we did not in front of the pyre
-we, the ones who were left behind-
only stared at the martyrdom with dry open eyes.
Becoming heroes doesn’t take the pain away
but gives a reason to an everlasting suffering:
the awareness we had carried the daughters of the Moon in our wombs.
I know now a moonchild is a stranger from an alternate universe,
where justice is ruthless and total wars are the answer to oppression.
They show up unannounced
-no faces no names and pale wretched skins-
tiptoeing behind the door when the sun has set
insinuating their little bones in cradles and swaddling clothes.
Summoned by the angry ghosts
of the victims remained unavenged
they’re like thieves in the night
- tiny drops of blood their pathway to life-
and steal your heart forever
before you even realize they’ve come.
RUSSELL HEMMELL is a French-Italian transplant in Scotland, passionate about astrophysics, history, and Japanese manga. Recent work in Aurealis, Cast of Wonders, Flame Tree Press, The Grievous Angel, and others. SFWA, SFPA, & HWA member. Find them online at their blog earthianhivemind.net and on Twitter @SPBianchini.