What burns in these shadows, in these flames,

these flames more crooked than my shadow?

My shadow burns, the words I whisper

crack in the heat. The moonlight

is drenched by the flames.

Tomorrow he is mine.

She, the gentle, foolish one,

prisoner of her father’s greed,

sweated in the airless light

of the torches, the wheel

spinning empty through her hand,

scattering straw on the floor.


They curse me in the streets, drive me

into shadows. But I have watched

between the stones, seen the stains

beneath the silk, beneath the rags,

the sweat rolling into their mouths;

evil drips from decaying flesh.

I am better than them all,

for I who never knew the touch

of silk or gentle hands

or kind words sung to comfort me,

will hold my son in gentle arms,

soften my voice to song.


There in the distant forest,

alone but for the light

we build against the darkness,

all he’ll know is that my shape

is beautiful, and I a giant

among the creatures of the Earth.

He will be, like the sound of my name,

a secret to these sheltering flames,

a secret from the world and from

the secrets of the world.

I who know the darkness

know this light.


The fire burns the past, the mockery.

In the flames I throw the secret

of my name. Born at sunrise with my son,


burns in the flaming moonlight,

burns in the shadows.

She saw, she heard. She hurries

through the forest to the town.


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