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Fall 2022

Moonshadow

A poem by Mārta Ziemelis


Witch lake sapphic queer love poem arthur myth

I watch the Lady rising from the Lake,

moonshadow bright.

People who live here say

her love has held Arthur the red-gold,

Merlin the dark-eyed.

Tonight she comes for me.

Light-foot she walks on rippling waves,

song-strong hands carrying breath.

Tonight her power speaks

in a caress, not in the binding of fate.

My feet are bare,

won’t stop slipping in lakeshore mud,

but I don’t care.

I take quick, shallow breaths,

twisting my heavy girdle between my fingers,

twisting the hems of my rain-spotted gown.

The Lake parts a little -

the Lady takes my hand,

clasps my waist,

presses her lips

lightly to my braided hair.

One small step, shaking yet sure –

my mouth, daring and nervous,

brushes against hers, exchanging breath.

Since when does the Lady of the Lake

come only to kings and warlocks?



Mārta Ziemelis is a Tkaronto (Toronto)-based emerging poet and established literary translator. Her poetry has appeared in The Ice Colony, CRUSH Zine, the Sapphic Writers Collective zine “Out Of The Wardrobe”, South Broadway Ghost Society and the NonBinary Review. Her Latvian-English translations include "Do you exist, or did my mind invent you?", a poem by Gunta Micāne (TransLit Volume 11: An Anthology of Literary Translations, 2017), two short stories in the anthology The Book of Riga (Comma Press, 2018), and Narcoses, a poetry collection by Madara Gruntmane, co-translated with Richard O'Brien (Parthian, 2018). She is proudly bisexual. You can find her on instagram @martaantra .

Copyright © 2022 by Mārta Ziemelis
Published by Orion's Beau