I'll bury your bones when they're watching, sister, your flesh-wrapped bones, your body — I can't look at your face but I'll place your old limestone pounder at your side: This is a good grave, they'll say, and believe I am quiet, I am done with this arguing over bones and burials and foxes. I am not done. I can't look at your face as I cover you with earth, as I re-cover him: that man, who now shares his grave with you. I look at him, already rotting, weak. I enjoy the sight of his fists, broken, unclenching. But it is because of him that I cannot bury the fox with you — and then, then I look away, hurting like the knife went between my ribs instead. I'll come back, sister. He didn't hear the foxes talk, he didn't tame the foxes with scraps and songs, he didn't sit awake at night telling me about their lives. I'll come back, I'll wait until you're bones, until I can't see your face and your wounded chest, sister I'll wait years until they forget you and the fox and him and me: I'll slip away, run here, dig until my hands are full of bones — there's dirt, so much dirt, and it's soaked full of loneliness! I'll bring the fox to you, sister. Here. Sing together. I'll sing too, sister. I'll sing 'til I die.
Alex Dally MacFarlane lives in London, where the foxes cross paths with her at night. Her poetry has appeared in The Moment of Change, Stone Telling, Goblin Fruit and Here, We Cross, and her fiction in Clarkesworld Magazine, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies and The Mammoth Book of Steampunk. A handbound limited edition of her story "Two Coins" was published by Papaveria Press in 2010. To find out more, visit her website at: www.alexdallymacfarlane.com