ψεύσματα ποικίλα πιθανῶς τε καὶ ἐναλήθως ἐξενηνόχαμεν
—Lucian of Samosata
Both plausibly and persuasively
have I told artful lies.
settled in truth's bones
inked line-drawings in ivory
—inclusions in vitrified sand
sketched fantastic in shadows:
here is a man with a jackal's face
a woman with sun-charred wings;
here ants scatter rivers of gold
out where the desert floods and burns.
One-eyed brother. The features change
down the years:
a stranger's mask-face kindred-charged
in a lip's curl—brow's lift, nostril-flare—
sear me strange
sister with the eye shot blind.
I never had a lover.
In the glacier-shivered north beyond north
the ice of her breath burning in my blood
his raven-feathered fingers bannered in my hair
beloved, honest: easy to fell.
You say all these lies are mine?
Tempt me to throat-aching truth, then.
You'll turn aside long before