• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 07

Journey to Nod

The smiling ladies were identical
in all but these three respects:
One wore a veil made from dusk;
the other, a shawl made of dawn.
One had a smile like a scalpel, wound-
making and primed for surgery,
and the other’s smile said nothing,
but her crow-footed eyes found
the way I spoke her tongue amusing.
One, when she spoke, always
told lies in a voice like rotting
velvet; the other told the truth,
sometimes, in quiet singsong.
They stood good-naturedly for me
as I sketched them on the road
of dream-stuff that led east
of Eden and pointed me towards
the capitol, which would
be the subject of the next chapter
of my book. One of them told me
that I would die surrounded by family,
at a home I could barely remember.
The other kissed me hand and said
my name, and I took the fabric
of her voice into the dreaming.
“Marco… Polo…”