My story was born somewhere
between the cold crackling light
of the stars and the restless eye
of the fire, wavering, holding itself in birth,
feeling its way through to existence by its own magic
word. Trafficking in possibility, it learned to navigate,
treading the depths of unnamed fears, picking
its way carefully among the bones
of a billion other potential lives.


Inside out, my story became cyclical, eating
its own tail, holding on white-knuckled
to the gift of creation like fire waiting, praying
for tinder. Instead it wore a groove, smooth and deep
as my imagination, warm and soft as the things flowing
from my womb. I didn’t really know what to do
with myself, but no matter; these things have a way
of showing you the path in blindness, breadcrumbs
under the new moon. It curled round me
like wisdom, urging me to peace, to silence, lips closed
while I floated on the stagnant, murky water.


Now only this one dark path remains: jagged
and rocky, a stroll on cracked and calloused feet
along the precipice edge, a slow waltz moving in time,
dancing to a tune only the dead can hear. Trails
and maps notwithstanding, this isn’t a story
of finding one’s way, but of losing it, of breaking free
the caul and marching outward in steadfast
resolution to find the coffin.

[Lynette Mejia writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror prose and poetry from the middle of a deep, dark forest in the wilds of southern Louisiana. Her work has been nominated for the Rhysling Award and the Million Writers Award. You can find her online at]