by Khalilah Okeke
He is on the prowl and will find her. He always does.
The forest growls - Alessandra, Alessandra - as he hunts through skeletal branches bent helpless in
barring his glide. He soars beyond the needled canopies of evergreens into silver-crests of sky.
The raptor returns from his vanish in the clouds and perches on a snag; his throne towering above the
sealine. He watches the drifters on the strand. Their bound spirits escaping like hurling stones from the
devil’s hot-throat. Eyes crawling toward nothing.
Alessandra is among them. He licks the smell of her pulse on the wind’s hand and follows her, a bonfire
blazes between them. She frolics with a man to the beat of palms pounding on goat-skin covered drums, their hips slither in rhythm.
With an acrobatic swoop the raptor slips into the man like a phantom creeping through a bedroom
window. He claws through his veins, talons climbing and nesting behind empty eyes.
The raptor, now the man; pulls Alessandra’s body close, his rushing desire rising. Alessandra snakes away into the
ocean, abandoning the raptor on the sand.The blood red moon so close you can taste it. Her tangle of hair
floating in the glass-covered sea.