Witches and honey

Rohinton Daruwala

Dark flowers open in the night,
their petals sharper than their thorns,
and the night bees gather their
blood pollen in careful silence.

This honey burns the skin, is not
for drinking, but for the barest dab
across lips, wrists and fingertips,
that bring out long-dead witches
that clothe themselves in flesh
for a single kiss, buried tree-spirits
that crack concrete and wrap root
around ankle in a slow caress,
and a hundred stone demons
that leap from hillside graves
and melt into molten chains
around your waist.

This honey burns the heart, is not
for swallowing, but a single spoon
on the tip of your tongue can
summon a storm in your bloodstream
and raise laughing clawing demons
from the pit you always carry
deep within you.

Rohinton Daruwala lives and works in Pune, India. He tweets as @wordbandar and blogs at wordbandar.wordpress.com. His first collection of poems is The Sand Libraries of Timbuktu(Speaking Tiger 2016). His work has previously appeared in Strange Horizons, New Myths, Star*Line, Liminality, Through the Gate and Silver Blade.