Arrow Heart

I saw her, just as should could no longer
bare the weight of herself,
and I watched her fall to her knees and
drop sideways.
Blood ran from everywhere.
I stepped carefully
to avoid the mess
and knelt beside her.
“How long have you been here?”
She was still in it. Not yet finished.
Puddled in blood.
I put my two fingers
to her neck. Heart still beating. I made sure to check.
“A thousand years” she said.
“That’s how long I’ve been here.
One. Thousand. Years.”
In a moment her fading eyes raged.
If not for the arrow sticking through her,
I may have
jumped back for my own
safety.
Her pale hand shook.
Her body cloaked in green, an army jacket,
smeared with blood.
She was red and green all over.
“Like Christmas,” I told her, patting her shoulder.
Her lips were blue
reflecting the cold of the night.
Oh my dear, bloody and
close to tears.
“You can go now.” She told me staring
at the nothing she lay beside.
“You never came before. So let me die.”
The arrow was so very long and
so very sharp.
I could not see the worst of it, perhaps the tip
was in her heart.
Metal. Barbed. Sometimes fiery.
I’ve seen them.
Made them. Even fired a few.
Then again, haven’t we all?
“I’m going to take it out now.” I told her, and then
I put my hand to her chest to see if
all that blood was still flowing
and it was.
She fought as much as she could
to keep me away.
Fingers caked in red.
Sharp poke.
It was hiding,
the head of the arrow.
Beneath the blood. Beneath her
army green jacket.
Perfect. This was perfect.
“No,” she repeated and repeated, breaths getting ever so shallow.
The thing that hit her had gone
all
the way
through.
“This is a good hit.” I said to her, because it was.
Now to wait until the blood quits.
I pressed and she screamed. Forever this goes on.
“Who did it?” I wanted to know
the expert who fired this arrow,
what a dreadful hero they must be.
“Let me go” her words although weak, came out in a snarl.
Bloody soldier, ever bold even in this savage cold.
“No one will ever know,” she said.
I decided to save her anyway.
“I’ve been here a thousand years. No one knew.”
“I think the arrow hit your lung” I said, I thought so
because of the way she struggled to speak.
“That’s good,” I said. “It has not gotten the best of you.”
“Die along with me, you deserve this arrow.”
I told her to be quiet.
“It only hurts when you breathe, isn’t that right?”
Her eyes, they told me to die.
The bleeding kept on so I thought, why not?
I cracked it here and
cracked it there.
She screamed and cursed all the while
because of the pain,
and no one being there.
Bloody from battle. Such rage.
Then I pulled. I pulled it out,
the arrow, one yank and then another.
Two bloody ends. She cursed me all the more. I held them up
smiling.
She was going to kill me
for not letting her die.
No sooner had I been her savior did she have me
by the throat.
Now it was I who struggled when I spoke.
She made sure to get her bloody hands
around me tightly.
Windpipe coiled by a snake.
It was not easy for her at first
because she was still wounded and
she was still very hurt,
and fingers soaked in fresh blood
made holding anything slippery.
Then finally she got it, very, very intensely,
her grip on my throat.
Air was no longer coming to me.
“No one knows I’ve been here for one thousand years.”

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