Your breath between every blessed verse sung
carries — a rapturous silence full of pregnant
expectation, some small space held on the tongue
or at the back of the throat, in the crescent

arch of your neck with its hair-grabbed bent.
And the gods work in mysterious ways,
don’t they? What is a little blood spent
from the soul’s carnal house as long as it paves

over the milk-plain page with whorls of ink?
Praise the remembering, praise the bardic king
who celebrates with pen as well as drink
the moments we’ll all forget. We are nothing

in this fresh tale but strangers to each other:
unrecorded, unkept, unfinished together.

[Hayley Stone is an award-winning author and poet from California whose work has appeared in Apex MagazineLiminality, Star*Line,and more. She is best known for her weird western novel, Make Me No Grave, and her sci-fi series, Last Resistance. Find her at]

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