She drank wine, and she drank gin,
Sipped the red moon from a goblet,
And washed it down with starlight
From a crystal glass.
And she dreamed a dream of darkness,
And a red-black length of twine,
Threshed from the reeds of flax
That lined the soft and swollen shores
Of the lifeblood of the ancient world.
And she dreamed of half a man,
Who with glittering, scaled fingers wove
A tapestry of light and shadow
On a loom of polished brass.
And she dreamed a girl who was an owl
And a city, and a way of life,
Who wove the history of empires,
And pulled small spiders from the air.
She poured a shot of darkness,
And drank it down beneath the harvest sky,
And dreamed a spider woman made of corn,
Who milked the future from her spinnerets,
And slipped along the strands of dewy silk.
And she dreamed of three fair women,
With spindles in their hands and fire in their hearts,
And of a thousand, horn-helmed heroines,
Who holding broadhead arrows and flat spear heads
Wove blood and death with the warp and the weight.
And she dreamed of the young, the middling, and the old,
Of a dozen nations and a thousand Gods,
Wielding spindle, ruler, shears,
And measuring the lives of men,
With ancient eyes and milk-white hands.
She drank the blood of emperors
Who lounged on marble thrones and sable robes,
And she drank the blood of dusty Gods
Whose names died with them in the dark,
When men still painted antelope
On cool cave walls with quick and curving strokes.
And she dreamed a man made all of bones,
And a woman made of clay,
Who beckoned with silent, crooked fingers,
And smiled at her with empty eyes.
And she dreamed a boatman with a pole,
Who wore a heavy jingling purse,
And dreamed a man who played
Sweet melodies for snapping, snarling beasts,
If only it could save his love.
And she dreamed a man who was a bird,
Who had a feather in his fingers
And a tablet cradled in his arms,
And she dreamed a kind old man who guarded gates
Of glittering gold and shining white.
She took a drink of fire, and of ice,
And let the bottle break across the floor,
Dusty glass within a ruthless, ruby tide.
She unrolled a spool of crimson thread,
And held it up against a wooden rule,
Until one end hit the ground,
And the other touched the bloodied sky,
But still it came up short.
She marked her measure down
In dark black ink, and cut the thread
With gleaming silver shears,
Leaned back and drained the dregs of
A lifetime off her fingers,
And waited for the end to come.