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Did you listen to them? Arro asked wildly. Did you . . . eat?

Soal hid her face on the pallet. Tears spilled onto the cloth, and she clutched herself, as if that would keep the memories from spilling out, too. A million memories rose at her throat like a word that wished to be spoken. A million memories of blue-lit voices, tender, flickering hands, and a vision of the home they–and she–had been severed from.

And in that instant, something cold came over her. She could not let Arro see these memories. She would not.

Continue reading “Revising Soal: Facing the Furnace”

Fairy Tale Mulch

They weren’t written,
they grew.

Grimm
simply
matched the grimace
that had
colonized
his land.

Grimm
simply
put his hand
to the pulse
of the maid,
the mother,
the crone,

Grimm
simply
strode
through the
mud
of trodden-over grief,
splintered wills,
and hollowed out hearts

and found,
beneath,
something as gnarled
and fierce
and bony
and strong

as the twisted
roots
of the Oak
that Survives.

Sisters

She gave it to me,
a single
drop
of lavender.

She shared the scent
with me,
wrist to wrist,
older
to younger,
old pain
to new
mingling
for healing.

Still so young,
but now far away,
I curl up,
alone,
in a cage of foreignness
and friendlessness.

But still I hold
one
drop
on my skin.

Lavender.

The dark of her eyes
rests
in mine.

Sparks coalesced along the Svetskyn’s fingertips, and the light spilled in a frenzied path from his hands.

Soal struggled against the grasp of his mind, gasping as the living Memory echoed from both his mind and hers. She had to dig past it, she had to find the light in her veins before the Svetskyn’s light struck her body and burned her whole. But the Memory was strong. Leaping nyun. Flaring nyun. A deadly arc—

In a last, desperate jerk of muscles, Soal flung her hands up over her face—and opened her mind to the electricity that streaked from the Svetskyn’s hands. I am Soal! she cried to it.

Continue reading “Drafting Soal: Evolving with “The End””

This Child Is Searching

I opened
The Book,
the one that
wasn’t
Dr. Suess.
The one with more than
simple, silly
fluffs.

The Book that let
each creature
Hold
Its Weight.

The illustrations were like
fractals.

The colored details were like
bird flight.

The unneeded borders
of dragons
and saints
and horns
and vines

Were
My
Need,

like a wormhole
direct
to the richness that ached
inside my
tiny
soul.

When a ghost slips Soal a shard of the ancient Soul Stone, the key to restoring her enslaved people to their homeland, Soal feels she has found her missing heart. But as her sister’s memories bind her mind, she discovers that she will not only have to fight the Svetskyn to set her people free. She will have to face her own sister.

Continue reading “Outlining Soal: First Words”

One

Still blue light
mutes the mountains,

rolls down its sides
in an even slate
of blue

until peaks meld into foothills
foothills into grass
and grass into
homes
and
my
feet.

All swept together
like the illustrated circle
of a single
blue china plate.

Unsaid

Each hour tightened the cord around her throat.
Each moment the words went
unsaid
she could feel the needle enter,
sewing closed
her airway.

A Waking Up

The house is chill enough
to make each breath
a waking
up,

a
chance
to trace
the magic
blood

that soars

from heart
to vein
from heart
to vein
from heart
to every

extremity

of me.

Before the Balance

Muscles tight
on only one side.

A kiss given
but not quite
met.

I’ve been moving wrong,
with only half
the puppet strings
cut.

I reach for a cup
of comfort
and spill

for the crookedness
of my
spine.

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