6: a moment in the life of Paznan and Gisela

in the court below the blackwings turned to paper
and then she opened her eyes and saw that it was true

Paznan flicked an orange peel and told her
it would be so and so it was but not really,
an image after blinkingfast and after being spacked
in the head with the broadside of a sword, his, yes

a thousand years tomorrow, he said, they’ll
recall you naked on the prow of a ship
with your tits all brown and chiselchamfered

Gisela made herself into a spar, a fir, the wall
blocking all or everything that might be called East,
etched herself into the shape of spiderweb, the kind
groovewoven like the circling years of a decapped tree
round her father’s, the king’s, brooding eye
made herself fast against the breeze and the eyes
Poznan cast to her, his little hard frame, an empty bird cage

and father will come, she said, the king, she said
whose eye is a waiting spider
and father will come, she said, the king, he said
a hungry spider waiting

and the feathers will turn red in your eyes
he said, and she closed her eyes to see it