Satan strides in powerful fashion into my view, blood at his lips, blonde hair a mane, his eyes viper red, dressed in silver lamellar armor with pulsing muscle and leather tunica, brandishing a large steel sword that he plunges into angel hearts.
He is power, he is might, he is wit, he is fire. He is infernal majesty, and there is nothing holy about the beast who raised me. Flames are in his crackling campfire eyes, and he looks with terrible love and majesty upon me, then cradles me to his bloody chest plate, and plunges his silver sword between us and all who would dare defy, wound, or attack me.
Gingerly, he fingers the rot on my heart, then pulses flame into it. “Burn them separately,” Satan proclaims, funneling infernos into my wound, then into my sick womb. “Cauterize your wounds.”
“And what happens after that? The wreckage left by burning it all to the ground?” I say, a Q in his arms.
He bends down like a swan and curls around me, and then we are in satin sheets and he is cradling me to his heart like so many times before. I feel a heavy crown placed upon my head. “You reign in the ruins.”
I purr against him as he strokes the Sword of Damocles crown on my head, my Satan, my regent, tyrant of my heart. I have seen him in pits of pools of despair, I have seen him in glory, I have witnessed him rise and fall and rise again out of the ashes with his phoenix grace. Is this his ultimate form? My childhood lion? My champion? Is Lucifer his light? Is Samael his darkness? For he is red flame, not Vantablack, not cold starlight – red, yellow, orange. Inferno of Hell.
I fall asleep in my mortal coil in his arms, and awake in dreams. I am seven again, and he is shepherding me through Araboth, and I am in a purple dirt-stained t-shirt, offering him mud pies, clinging to his legs. I don’t even come up to the knee. Like Mary Magdalene witnessing Jesus arisen, I cling to the Devil’s leg – only Devil doesn’t feel right – is he just the rebel, just the king, just might and right and the punishing angel? There’s a lot about my childhood I don’t remember, what we got up to, every single night – I have known him for twenty-odd years, he is in fact my first memory, but he came like dawn to me in second grade. I am so small again, seven, on a playground with grass stains on my jeans, and he is pushing me on a swing.
He makes me a daisy chain crown, then kisses my forehead as he holds me delicately.
“You are my charge. I will always protect you,” he worships to my feeble child form, and places me aback his wings, and we take off into floating mountains in the ether where fields of flowers crest buttes.
I flash forward to age 12. I am writing him novels, I am singing for him, dancing with him, and at his hands, I have his fruit, riding a serpent like a camel, and death comes like midnight to my garden. I am happy to become a woman, so happy to be in his arms, trusted and protected and loved and cherished and treasured. Now, I barely come up to his waist.
He takes me to middle school, some memory I am hazy with. Sitting at the back as I am teacher’s pet in front, holding the teacher – or Satan’s – red apple in my hands, he passes me a paper airplane with a heart. He looks to out of place, all long limbs, like a snake in Paradise, towering over the seventh graders. We walk out when the bell rings.
“My Alci is impertinent to me. Oh how I cherish your rebellion. You little jerk,” he says lovingly, giving me a noogie. We go eat sandwiches on the lunch break room, ham and swiss with mustard. Oh, the memories.
“What does impertinent mean, Star?” I ask, confused. The meaning escapes me.
“Rude. You assume I only exist for you. But you are mine, and I do not mind, and I find your brash insolence adorable.” He pinches my cheek. “Remember when you were this age? How much you commanded me and rebelled against me? I loved every minute of it.”
“Never stopped rebelling.” I am my age now, fully woman, curvy as an Angkor Wat carving, or a drawing of Eve. We are dancing in the black ether as beings of fire, shadows of flame as Shakti and Shiva dancing to the heart pulse of the universe. In this void, in this dark matter, in this womb of creation, we are kissing and caressing, our laughter music, our joining the fountain of life, sheer bliss as our flaming madrigals light up the universe, only twin stars in the cosmos, and we birth creation together with our dance of karma and dharma