With her right hand she opens the book,
turns the pages with deliberation
and unhurried grace.
Her infinite task has no need of urgency,
of frenetic action.
With her left hand she draws a line through the chosen entry.
This lady in her robe of red,
and with deep eyes of ink on parchment,
of immeasurable skies,
she throws the bones and finds the pattern in the chaos.
Gold plated saints and faces in the trees,
she has observed them all,
their comings and goings,
merely another passage to note,
merely another page turned.
another line to draw.
She would tell you,
if you asked,
that there are two things everyone wants;
and the selfsame two things everyone fears…
and it would be a gift to be free of the wanting,
of these dark desires,
but like blood and bone they go together.
You watch as her polished hands soundlessly turn the pages once more,
looking at her wrists
the veins threading like a rill,
like the contour lines on a map,
blue as woodsmoke,
blue as the open sky.
And you think of one more question,
just one more…
But the book has closed.
Your line is drawn,
and another coming and going duly noted.