the conquest

Sitting splay-legged

on a dark pavement

still warm from the day’s exertion,

she draws an invisible sword

from the tight inner pocket of her jeans,

tips back her head and

laughs, close-eyed;

this, all re-covered ground

and still echoing with the footfalls

of dragon-drawn chariots;

she has long since

learned the danger

of thinking twice.

Music plays softly overhead,


impersonal and plastic,

soaked up by new brick and sponged

inexpertly into the pores of her bare feet.

One by one worlds pass by:

parents with children, couples in love,

impregnable youths.

They glance and turn,

watching without seeing;


Her mind, a thousand miles away,

kicking the shins of impossibility

with those calloused feet,

unwinding threads through a maze

and gazing skyward,

always skyward.