Three hours and I have recognized myself as common

nobility, periodically playful, discerning, delighting

in disguise, and loving the power of freedom

to grant peace, but above all: fearing

primal femininity—fury of the mother,

treachery of the womb—my shadow

towering over me, reptilian, always

present, the pernicious potential:

brutally tender, tenaciously dark,

fragile in the extreme.