replenished ru(i)nes.

the sounds of cocked barrels
clicked like heels outside the doors,
while a coin rolled over the knuckles
of a rune-etched hand;

“you’re above the bend, now!”
heidi hummed a fiddler’s tune
over the sound of the male ego outside,
black-eyed susan tapping a tune
against the rafters she sat in.

“honey, you’re two throws
from the boot-yard,” she sang,
and her eyes rested over
her cardinal, tucked against the wall;

“look me in the eye and say that again” –
peering down through the dust lay a
man or three, not a tail feather left
of what they used to be in this life –

old world burns in the palm of her hand
made heidi wince as the barn doors rattled,
not unlike the breath of the ghosts
she had paid the mightiest price to –

wood splintered and cracked open
lead battering down her line of defense,
and the line riders filed in
like lemmings to an abyss;

glyphs crackled with lightning,
mauling the chests and faces like bears
a handful milling outside, a shot or two
fizzing by pointed ears, her ghastly lips

heidi dug a heel into the raft and aimed
with the casual glance of a master shot;
six shots and six thuds later
her teeth sunk into the breasts

of the gamblers who bet their lives,
leeching life to her fingers, warmth
flowing from them like a hot bath
in a snow storm;

“need a farm one of these days,”
she muttered, abandoning another

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