The Ahkiyyini is a skeleton spirit in Inuit folklore
I beat my shoulder blades with limbs of ice
and sinew like some twisted tambourine,
a drum whose syncopation lies between
those tangled realms of hell and paradise.
For when I dance the spirits roll the dice ‒
the waters crack, the mountains shake and scream,
the waking world becomes a fading dream ‒
and those who hear the drummer pay the price.
So dance, you drowning pilgrims, dance with me
a pirouette, the pulse of life and death,
the rhythm of the vagaries of chance
that drag you down beneath a sunless sea.
Remember, as you draw your final breath ‒
though we are dead we still know how to dance.