here be dragons

there’s always some monster to begin
with some candour · some flower · some great
golden eye that drinks you in

my grandfather ran til his legs were lost
my grandfather flooded marshes, restored
cities to an unseen greatness or perhaps
cemented their legends with his bare hands

my grandfather spoke to the dead with that
certain kindness that sometimes allows them
to resuscitate · for a small hour · to dance
their rattling bones on a dragon’s far remains

because there’s always some pretty boy saint
with limbs that itch and the mettle of hornets
to guide the way

where it’s better to wander
to gore where flounder you must

my grandparents were forged in a war
like great steel battles and were afterwards
never able to spell themselves righteous

they were made of knives and small mistakes
that often prove meaningful in the end

they say a depth always precedes a death
and that to find the lake you first must’ve
heard the water calling · drink drink in
the amber mouth of its sullen glorified sun

its serpentine will · the twist that will bring
you back to where it started · the bodies ·
the shelter · the unknown menace within

Milla van der Have (The Netherlands, 1975) is a Gemini. Her poetry has been published in Cherry Tree, Otis Nebula and Ninth Letter, among others. In 2016 her chapbook Ghosts of Old Virginny was published. Milla lives and works in Utrecht, the Netherlands, with her wife and two rabbits (that sometimes appear in her poetry).