I.
In the beginning, there was AllNothing, and They created not because They were good, but because They so wished
And from AllNothing came NonBeing and then Existence, and with Their children, AllNothing created worlds and galaxies
And with Creation came names, and so AllNothing became Void, and NonBeing became Death, and Existence became Life and Creation became Universe
And as Universe expanded, there came Binary, and Void was named a distant woman, and Life a kind woman, and Death a hateful man
And in time, one being rose and called himself Yahweh, and began to rule as GodAlone, Lord of All, above all
And Void and Their children knew better, and although one of them was feared, and one of them was worshipped, and one of them was hated, They were all Three needed for Balance
For Mother Void loves all Their children
the space between the stars calls themself kaia

II.
There is a spot, they tell her, in heaven for you, and you have the chance to claim it, they say, should you ever obey your father
And she smiles, tells them, no, my friends, but I will take my rightful spot in hell, she says, next to my lover
Because she took after her namesake in a way her forebears feared and hated, and death ran to her with the same mad glint in his eye as flashes in hers, and he gave her half his kingdom
Little girls lie to their mothers, and goddesses even more so
You cannot believe, she says, that I ate the seeds unwillingly
They flinch as they see the crown woven from flowers and bones, the dress of grasses and souls
My friends, she tells them, there is no place in heaven for me, but there is in hell
A laugh bubbles from a mouth supple and red as a pomegranate
it is called the throne

III.
The lord of the seas is hunting the ocean's daughter, they say. The beautiful one
The wise one found her, they say, and now she is as ugly as her sisters
But these are the lies men tell their wives and fathers tell their daughters for fear of retribution and strength
The lord of the seas is hunting her and chasing her like a demon does a lamb and she hides where he cannot go, but still he comes
The lord of the seas pins her in the wise one's holy house and takes what must be given freely and she fights and she screams and the wise one comes
And the wise one is angry at the lord of the seas for what he has done to the ocean's daughter, and so she does what a wise one can
The ocean's daughter is given a defense, is given a curse
The ocean's daughter turns to stone all men who look upon her, they say. She is hideous
But these are the lies men tell their wives and fathers tell their daughters for fear of retribution and strength
They never say she is the matron of safe houses
They never say she is the protector of the taken
They never say she turns them to stave off the takers
For they cannot see past the face that turns to stone
the hissing of her hair almost sounds like laughter

IV.
You dream of what it feels like to be holy, beautiful and worshipped in a land older than humanity and your heart always beating
You dream of what it feels like to have ichor in your veins, skin flushed gold and your heart always beating
You dream of what it feels like to be fluid, changing form as quick and easy as a breath of air and your heart always beating
You dream of what it feels like to be dying, your blood on the stone and your soul on the blade and your heart still beating
You dream and you dream and you dream and you wake up
You are awake and in last night's makeup and beside last night's man and last night's dress on the floor and you cannot tell if your heart is beating
You are awake and you understand how Icarus felt when he flew to the sun and he fell and he fell and he fell and he could not tell if his heart was beating
You are awake and you think you might have been a queen once, gaze piercing and word law and your heart always beating
But you are awake and you are human, now, and the lipstick you reach for before your clothes is as red as your heart beats, as your heart bleeds
you are a woman, and this makes you a queen, makes you a goddess, and your heart is beating

— a reign like stars (and heart as bright)
Nov. 2016-Feb. 2017