Art by NASA/JPL-Caltech.
From the author: A poem.
I breathed my story on the glass, etched with starlight,
tracing runes and spells in the mist to make it strong,
to make each tale tremble into life as the words left my tongue and hands.
Me, weaving unicorns and dragons, harpies and bear-kings
from swirling sparks and cooling embers -
heat and frost suspended in the air, mingling with my breath.
It was the small hours,
and we, huddled together for warmth in a small world,
small creatures with small lives beating red, caged within our chests.
You shivered, wrapped in your worn blanket,
bits of hope and wonder like small rocks and seashells worn smooth by touch
hidden in your pockets -
a tousled sparrow crouching on your shoulder.
“I need a coat of armor, strong and unmarred, no chink or rust.”
And I wove you a dragon-hame, jewelled scales aglow,
gilded seams like solar flares and strips of dawn,
luscious silks to pad it, soothing your bruised skin.
Every sentence another thread, supple-strong,
knitting words to steel, stitching stars to dragon’s fire.
And when you sank below, beneath,
cloud and sun and vault of heaven,
I slipped the scales on tight,
wrapped you in this newly crafted hide,
and held you in my arms.
You stirred in your sleep as the sparrow shook its feathers -
small beak, small voice whispering -
just a glint of flame, just a fragment of polished stellar cores,
your dazzling skin like gems and silver-steel gleaming below the ruffle of its wings.
Night’s stories, life’s constellations
spread like frosty glass beneath your wings.
(Originally published in The Lorelei Signal in 2016.)
This story originally appeared in The Lorelei Signal.