The Darkening Summer’s fruit is rotting. I will use it to fertilize my seeds. When the world terrorizes me, I will hold up the mirror & ask: How do I terrorize myself? My path is strewn with bones. I will make a flute to play! Is magic, then, all in your head? wondered the initiate. Yes, replied the master. But your head is bigger than you think! As the days shorten & darken, a deep howl grows in my chest, until it breaks me open and I b r e a k d o w n to break through. The raven folds me in its black wings —dark doula—a woman giving birth to herself, bathed in blood. It’s the pain of the potted plant straining to break the clay, roots run too deep now for the old way.