by Mari Ness

Many are the ways of taking flax,
and the ways of knowing men.
Oh, how I have known the men of Jericho,
the many men of Jericho.
My hands are clean from the dirt of the fields,
oiled and slippery upon the skin.
My roof is woven from the scraps of flax,
the strands that linger in my hands.
Oiled, oiled, that flax upon my roof,
rich scented of women and men.
Lovely, lovely my children,
my fragile children of Jericho.
I stain flax with red dyes,
plucked from flowers of fire and sand.
I spin a cord between my hands,
and wrap it about my brittle doors.
I open to others, and in opening,
open Jericho's doors to spies.


Mari Ness worships chocolate, music and words, in no particular order. Her other works can be found in various places throughout the internet and in print, including Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Goblin Fruit, and Stone Telling. You can find out more about her at her blog at marikness.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter at mari_ness. She lives in central Florida.

Read about Mari's inspiration for this poem.

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