Sister of swans
She hoards hush like treasure.
Her tongue lies heavy, snoozing
in its lair, stirring when thoughts
thicken. In her mouth they flutter,
wings like blades.
She blinks the world away:
in every tear a thing coils
until nothing remains but six faces.
A girl sits in a tree in the forest,
starflowers filling her lap.
Wordless she hurls her love
against the spell's wall, stitching
blossom to blossom, year to year.
(Did she eat? Did she drink?
Did she get down the tree to pee?
Did she sweat? Did she wash?
Did the flowers not wilt?
Did her first blood seep like red sap?
Was she afraid?
Was she cold? Did it snow?
How old was she when the king came?)
A famished eye trawls scripts
and scrawls, in the tapered shapes
of petals, a beetle's forked horns,
the dart of a deer - words a flicker,
clinging, clawing. In the damp dark
of her mouth they home like bats,
winged bundles waiting
to fall into flight.