Poem 5

Chapter 5: Promises


A year exactly


I waited at the docks

For him all yesterday.


How, again,

Are we standing in this river

washing sheets?

Sister and I,

Never escaping this intricate knot

Of time.


When we were young

Sister would gaze –

Cast a net wide into the future

And haul it in –


This game she’d start in a mystical voice with a mystical phrase:

“Queen of the entire west that we have never seen

Where language runs like rivers from the tongues of poets,

I imagine for you a prince.”

Eyes unfocused, drifting in the wind.

“He will fly!” she’d promised me.


And now, the wind yanks at our hair,

Seeps time from our bones.

We, alone, stand.


That last time, Sister’s prophecy became a threat.

She’d said, “With him, you will see much suffering.

He will burn for you, and you will burn.

And, with him, you both shall rise from ashes.”


A dark promise.


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