Quiet in Her Mind
By Ann K. Schwader
11 October 2010
Quiet in her mind, until the strangers
come again with tongues of blood & faith
& prophecy, each language a mutation
of myth hardwired into her primate brain.
She learned them all in childhood from the lights
that burned her dreams to spiral ashes. Blue
beyond the grammar of imagination,
they lifted her past midnight into truth.
Years afterward, the whispers started. Starlight
turned them shrill as crystal in her head,
until a random shard drew scarlet. Sirens
& bandages, that night. A whiff of death.
Her doctors bottled rainbows by the fistful,
banished edged temptation. Silence fell
like blackout curtains blank across her window,
a singularity they called a self.
Hostage to her own event horizon,
she lays out pills in patterns half-recalled
from sleep as blue as ashes. Spirals widen
across her floor: she traces them in chalk.
Quiet in her mind gives way to strangers
with myths for maps, whose prophecies scrawl tongues
of fire across our midnight sky. The curtains
are tatters now. She whispers, "It's begun."