The hairs on the back of his neck
Prickled, standing on end.
Goose bumps lined his skin,
What manner of familiar madness
Had he gotten himself in.
Walking in the dark room
From the space under the stairs,
Beads of sweat growing cold
On his forehead, chin and nose,
While his fingers felt like stones.
He found the door to the hall,
Careful not to turn on the light.
Barely moving the curtain,
Peeping to see if they were gone
But still did not know for certain.
The thought never occurred
To him before until now,
Since nothing indicated
Any possible connection
After they’d been separated.
Earlier he had come over
Using his spare key to get in,
To collect the last few boxes
That were stored under the stairs,
And had been knocked unconscious.
The flickering candles
Were the first thing he saw when awake,
And heard the rhythmic chanting.
Seeing the veve drawn on the floor
Froze him where he sat hidden.
He was afraid to move
Or they would find him there,
And watched in silent terror
Knowing then that coming there
Unannounced had been an error.
The three women were all dressed
In white with ochre on their face,
And appeared to be in a trance.
Calling on the sons of Mawu,
All seemed lost in their dance.
He was not sure for how long
He’d sat there looking on in shock.
The room started getting hot
And the energy filled him with fear,
Silenced and not shifting in his spot.
When they finally finished
And the frenzy seemed to calm,
They put out the candles flames.
As they left she closed the door
But first repeated his full name.
He gasped aloud astonished,
Very nearly wetting his pants.
Shaking to much to get up at first,
He’d been afraid of her
But this just made it worst.
Now peeping through the window,
There was no sign of them
Having disappeared into the night.
He took both his boxes and left,
Smelling of smoke and fright.
Getting home in a hurry
He locked the door behind him.
And ran straight to the toilet,
Trembling violently on the floor
He began to cry and vomit.
He’d seen such ceremonies before
And knew the powers they held.
What bothered him the most,
Was hearing her say his name
As the door was closed.
Life had moved on for him,
Never seeing her since that night.
He occasionally thought of it,
And it did take him a while
To get over the waves of panic.
The one morning at the office
A note was placed on his table
It simply said ‘you two’ on the back
Of her back in a painting, in her handwriting
Scribbled in French it read ‘vous deux’.
He had ran so far from his past
Then crashed right back into it.
His father was a high priest,
This was not foreign to him,
He knew what it implied at least.
Putting the note in his pocket,
He took the rest of the day off.
Knowing she lived how he feared,
Though turning their backs on each other
They both still deeply cared