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Nobody speaks to me.
I hear no voices.
There is no sound.

Nobody speaks
when the cards are shuffled,
drawn, and read
like the insides of a cut-open bird.
Aye, she has one Nourn eye
hidden behind simple truth
and you cannot but hold your breath and wonder
at the sharpness of her spread,
the exact lines of card upon card,
the relentless abacus of fate.
She is unhearing.
The sheep, her wool-beasts,
could call to her in pain or tender-beast affection
and still she would not hear, couldn't.
But she has one Nourn eye
and it does never sleep,
at night it sees the wool-dreams of her sheep.
And in the morning she will know
if the wool is good, if the wool is ready
to become a sheer thread.
Nobody hears
her when she enters a room
to polish the silver, wipe away dirt,
clean child breath off the window glass.
Her hands are the toughest.
Of course she has one Nourn eye,
unblinking it sees everything,
smudges and wrinkles, a clock that wants winding,
a wrinkle in the tablecloth of snow;
and the room, all edges when she's gone.
Nobody speaks to me,
I hear no voices, and
there is no sound.
Just these three
with their waterbucket and weaver eyes
and sharp ropes pulling my ankles
and wild bark above wilder roots
and my one eye
forced white open
as they measure
and cut.

Alexandra Seidel spent many a night stargazing when she was a child. These days, she writes stories and poems, something the stargazing probably helped with. Alexa’s writing has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Fireside Magazine, and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter @Alexa_Seidel, like her Facebook page, and find out what she’s up to at
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