The Lorelei Signal
The Modern Cottagecore
Written by Avra Margariti / Artwork by Lee Ann Barlow
Baba Yaga’s hut decided to renovate itself
sometime during the previous century.
Shedding its bent chicken legs, its exuvia of moss
now it teeters through the countryside on black stilts,
a tasteful mix of modernism and brutalism.
Nor does Vasilisa remain untouched by time.
These days she has adopted the cottagecore aesthetic,
skipping through the woods to folk punk and synth-pop,
fresh-baked blueberry muffins in her basket,
flower-embroidered corset over her gauzy sundress.
They get along now, the old witch and the young heroine.
During teatime, knitting needles click-clacking away,
they brag about old tricks and spells, successes and near-misses.
Remember that time you had me separate
poppy seeds from grains of soil?
Remember how I once spent three years in a frog’s skin?
Remember? I do.
Same time next week? asks Vasilisa
the Beautiful, the Wise, the Fashionable,
teacups soaking in the sink, muffin crumbs
swept back into her basket.
Baba Yaga the Cloud, Moon, Death, Winter,
Snake, Pelican, Earth Goddess
leans against the counter of her steel-and-chrome kitchen,
a much better finish, she has to admit, than human bone.
Avra Margariti is a queer author, Greek sea monster, and Rhysling-nominated poet with a fondness for the dark and the darling. Avra’s work haunts publications such as Vastarien, Asimov's, and F&SF. The Saint of Witches, Avra’s debut collection of horror poetry, is available from Weasel Press. You can find Avra on twitter (@avramargariti).