Many-Throated Dirge


The mirror describes the thing, but the mirror is itself nothing. Its color is silver; a thousand hues dance on its surface like waves made by a passing boat. The waves linger, maybe for hours, agitated and random, always dwindling to smoothness in the end. I polished the mirror for weeks. I polished it until its edge was as sharp as the edge of the sun, until I thought I could reach through and take my own hand to dance with myself in the double-space of the solitary room.

But the mirror is not the thing. Its memory is short.


I watched you through gauze, eyes like emeralds in candlelight. There would be no place for you in the deep vaults, the underground islands and white jungles of my realm. Peopled all with statues, frozen moments hallowed in stone. You will not join them. The shine of your shield, the deftness of your feet, the sound of your sword as it cut the throat and neck of my mortal sister – you and they are dust. Time will slay you in the end.


The thing cannot be seen, but felt. Not known, but understood. Not deduced, but intuited. Not learned, but discovered. Not imagined, but dreamt. Not spoken of, but shared. Not caused, but born. Not altered, but renewed. Not bound, but submerged. Not destroyed, but forgotten. Not forgotten, but shadowed.

Published on Jul 13, 2014
Written by Cameron Higby-Naquin