My skin is diamond, she said.
My skin is the black iron arrow that points north.
Wise men say that the compass points the way home,
Across deserts of ice-white bone,
The clear, sharp path of knowing.
Wise men say that they are wise.
My eyes are glass, he said.
My eyes are cobalt.
My eyes are searching for home,
Like the voices of crows,
Too-bright sun streaming down and birthing a desert
In my bones.
The sand fills us, they say.
The sand pours through our river-bed veins.
We open our mouths and it issues forth from us,
Children of the deserts that we have built
Wise men say that this is life,
Grains of sand stacked and stacked again until they are an ocean filling us.
Our lungs put down roots and drown.
Our tongues uproot and dry out and lie silent.
This is the long road, they say.
You with the cutting skin.
You with the shattered eyes.
This is the bone road, the ice road, the cut glass road.
The carrion road.
The desert leading all the way north.