When the Goddess of Light
dropped the rod of glass
with which she controlled the sun,
it shattered into a million splinters
raining down from the brilliant sky,
each one remaining a magic rod in its own right.
When the splinters fell on the heads of women,
they became rod cells,
inserting their subtle vision into innocent eyes.
For the women,
only glimpses emerged
from the thick dark shadows of chance.
For their daughters, however,
the future bloomed with color and light
against which mortal motion
was mere shadowplay.
When the girl cracked her head
on the playground bench, no one thought anything of it
until she lost count of the healer’s fingers
flickering through infinite possibilities.
When the blood stopped
and the wound faded to a wasp-waisted scar,
the double vision remained.
She could see the past out of one eye
and the future out of the other,
She could see separate potentials out of each eye,
and hold them up to some ephemeral sun
to see the differences.
But she could not navigate between them,
nor tell anyone
how to get from here to there.
When the young woman went to the social
at her father’s stern command,
it didn’t take a seer to foretell disaster.
Yet the moment her slippered foot snagged in her moon-blue skirt
and sent her face pitching toward the parquet floor,
a hand appeared beneath her elbow
to save the day.
When the musicians called for a reel,
the young man led his stumbling date into the dance.
He felt the music through the floor,
for he could not hear it with his ears,
and he pulled their four feet into the perfect rhythm.
When the reels changed to a slow dance,
the young woman leaned her head on her date’s shoulder
and closed her eyes. The future squeezed itself around her
with a strangely familiar grip, and she could
understand it better without the distraction of daylight.
When the young woman pulled away,
it was Time itself that counted the time for her dancing.
Her hips suddenly hung like a pendulum from the clock of fate
and her feet flew through the steps
with flawless grace.
When the young man saw her begin to move
to the beat of a different, hidden drum
he looked down and began to perceive
the decisions scattered like dust at her feet.
Then he remembered his lazy summer afternoons
spent studying the busy bees in their golden ballrooms,
dancing, dancing their way across the combs
as they told off the trip to the nectar fields.
He called out the future in his loud flat voice
and the sages chaperoning the social
hastened to take notes.
When the two were married,
it was no surprise to anyone who knew them,
for their eyes were filled with no one but each other
from the moment they met.
They made their fortune from telling fortunes
and the distant, shifting futures of the land they called home.
Together they made their way
safely through the lengthening days.
When the baby came,
the midwife fussed over her in the usual way,
and failed to notice that she was not a usual babe
as deft hands tucked her away in a dark quiet room.
The baby’s eyes glittered in reflections of invisible light
and her ears twitch, twitch, twitched in pursuit of silent sounds.