Hero, you pursued me with your mournful song that lulled the guard dog to sleep, a song so sad and lovely that Death himself wept aloud and released me to you. You whispered my name like honey, again and again as your panic bubbled to the surface, and the final syllable burst and scraped the ceiling. I was still voiceless. The light I had forgotten filtered through the gate ahead. You turned around to see me, and you saw me as you never had before, fleshless and quivering. You cast your lyre into the river and slammed the gate behind you. As I rushed into the light, the sun hid me in bones and skin. I shook the bars and cried for you as the ferryman floated away.
Jenelle Clausen lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she is a technical writer by day and a poet by night, trying to get by in a society where Christmas merchandise now eclipses two major holidays by going on sale in early October. Her poems have appeared in Midwestern Gothic, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, The MacGuffin, pacificREVIEW, and others. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University in Ohio.