Deerskin – Prose Poem


Drape deerskins in layers across new tent poles. Make the entrance long and double blocked, so the new moon cannot watch. If the moon sees rites one steals from her, then one’s skin will pay with beauty.

Threads of smoke—incense, camphor, opium, the oil of candles, skin on sweating skin—bind us together forever. In the distance, a youth drums and sings in the darkness. Lost in song, the singer will not know, wills not to know what happens now, what happens next, sweat on skin, hidden in skins, when songs and drum beats cease. When at last the singer and the song submit themselves to dreams, they move to rhythms of the ghosts of drum and song.

So long after, ashes of skins, poles and offerings stand in testimony to the nights of sweat and skin, sighs and songs, the madness of desire and fires of passion best not spoken of. In sunlight, still, faint figures and the distant echoes of patchouli whisper all our secrets. Dreams and actions are now only fading scents upon an unfelt wind. No other witnesses remain but ghosts.


Copyright © 2015-10-07, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.

Prompt: Skin
Form: Prose Poem
Device: Internal Rhyme

Note: I think I have a lot of trouble hearing rhymes because I write listening to the sounds of vowels. And so I have alliteration and flow, but only incidental or no rhyming words.


8 thoughts on “Deerskin – Prose Poem

  1. Whispering, darkness, new moon, and ghosts. What a compelling night of ritual and sensation is created. The detail draws us in: the actions and the active element of everything else. An experience that reaches us, through and through. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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