In a house beyond the woods
she lies with the sun, immersed in the light
that filters in through maple leaves.
Child of light, she climbs the hills
of sight, leaf-by-leaf, strung up along a river
lined in green—but the water does not move.
Summer’s at a peak and clouds of black
swirl above her head as she sinks into
the clay puddles beneath her feet.
The moon calls out for a bride; she opens
her arms to the night like a fairy in the gray
light, sending flowers to a star-filled sky.
The lake is swollen now—she gathers all
the water lilies, one-by-one, into her womb,
in a race that will never be won.
The plague has left scars around her feet,
worn by the march of a long winter, tortured endlessly,
as she pushes a stone for spiteful gods.
All rise from the evening pond, painted
in the night sky watercolors of nostalgia,
leaving violets in the wake of forgotten memories.
Adrift, content in a world of sleep,
snug within the warmth of silk pajamas,
she touches the branches that carry her name.
Worshiping by the fire, leaving burnt offerings
between the chants and incense, the smoke
of her spirit rejoins the world.