rises after midnight, smokes a thin cheroot & lines her eyes with the blood of his defiant guests.
She grows orchids in her greenhouse, distills rye whiskey & harvests the neighbor’s cats for stew.
The woman who sleeps with the devil never travels far from home, refuses invitations & paints her windows black.
She will not speak of her past but hints at a rendezvous with an aunt who guards the family bible &
brings her souvenirs: a rabbit’s foot her father cured, her mother’s ashes in a blue porcelain urn, a tape of her sister’s last words.
In winter, when his furnace heats their home, she spins wool to yarn & weaves his exotic capes & shrouds.
The woman who sleeps with the devil has learned to identify renegades, shanghai slavers, generals & executioners.
She’s combed our streets for charlatans, those who sell the trinkets of god’s army to unsuspecting tourists.
They’re a team, last seen wandering our fields hand in hand, she with a shovel & he with his torch & hook.
No one dares climb the hill to their rooms. We suspect anarchy & treason but will never interfere. Their privacy is our salvation.