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A grating sound came from the dragon's throat … “You offer me safety! You threaten me! With what?”

“With your name, Yevaud.” —The Wizard of Earthsea

It’s the soft places in the center of the heart
where they roost, the soft, tender places
where we call up love and family—and, oh,
what family, the lost and forgotten—and how
we swim to find them,

to bargain with them, to gamble
on their scales and the wealth of their breath.
I would like to tell you that the dragons
there are friendly, but everyone knows
this isn’t truth.

Why else would they roost in the warm, wet
places? Dark things know the delving.
Dark things know what we hide and the why
places where names are hidden. Dark things
know.

There is no darkness in death. Just a long
chain of islands. Just water. Just a hawk
flying. Peel out the piss and spit of the world.
Look, it’s just being eaten by a dragon.
Look:

he’s already discovered its name, this man
you’ve forgotten, because everything in death
is both forgetting and remembering, he’s
already discovered the dragon’s name. Discover
yours. Root around.

In your belly, among the dragons’ teeth
that have spilled from your heart,
is the remembering place. Come, I will tell
you a secret. You are already dead.
Yes, it is so.



Alicia Cole is a writer and artist in Huntsville, Alabama. She's an Irish-American, autistic, dyscalculic, 2E, MAD, bisexual, genderfluid, survivor woman (one), who is an alt-spiritual practitioner.  Her poetry has recently appeared in Reckoning, isacoustic*, and NILVX. She's a studio artist at InsideOut Studio at Lowe Mill, a studio for disabled adults, and she attends Merrimack Hall, a performing arts school for the disabled.  She lives with her husband, five animals, and some plants, and loves tea, coffee, and claw machines. Her favorite holiday is Halloween.
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