bathed in oiled and scented waters drawn from the purest pool by
willing slaves in slippers who never spoke but
smiled. She wound
finest fabrics about her young body in offering to the younger and searched
until her hair was dressed to her desire by
lily fingers of the white-blond mute who had come with her out of childhood,
and she lavished upon herself precious chains and
amulets, the filigree of scent, and
all was, of course, not for herself but for
Xandria, in praise of Xandria, as was her dancing
approach the elegance of which stilled the
The ivory house of Xandria where alone with servants she dwelt in a gossamer of incense and of musical tones issuing from bird and flower, unknown beast and night and dawn and feasting fruits and instruments of crystal, mirrored wood, polished metals.
Now, she said in her smile as she entered, now also praising music from the singing of my very bones, from the reverberance of my pools and reservoirs, singing of my secrets and the wishes I have held within me growing since the beginning.
Alone, people thought
she was alone, then, Violet's sister, the last
of her, the sailor, the seawoman.
They were mistaken.
She was not alone.
She should have been!
She should have been alone and not left alone like she was when not alone inside the boat.
There was nothing left of her nothing at all.