My skull which you cradle is a mossy nest of woven wood and feather-tangles.
Behind my eyes storms a hive, bee-heat and bee-murmur –
Do you feel it when you stroke your man’s thumbs on my eyelids?
Bend for the silk of my kiss? Do you hear her, the queen in the cells of my skull?
You love to run your nose in my hair,
Smell autumn in the golden hay lying on your pillow.
In this hall wherever I tread there is the scent of things rootless and fragrantly dying.
I myself am a meadow, slowly dying as I wait in your halls…
If only you saw clearly, eyes not muzzy with magic,
You would see my back as a snail-trail, a silver line you trace up the stalk of my spine,
From which fan the slender leaves of my shoulders.
You bend down your golden head to kiss the knot of my navel…my darling,
My honeysuckle, you say… and down between my legs, there, you find honeydew and salt,
Cuckoo-spit in my forking stem, and I stretch out longing for wild light and woodland rain,
Beyond this shuttered room you think we share.
You think I am a woman;
I am as fleeting and inhuman as the swirl of wind through summer leaves,
Or the moon’s glance at the moth.
If you looked, truly looked,
Perhaps you would see my glittering girdle is the dancing motion of insects,
And it is not silver and gold that rings my long fingers,
But the burnished backs of beetles on coils of bindweed and twisting vine.
The women whisper that you smell of the wood when you rise happy from my bed,
Of woods and earth-bread and meadowsweet crushed for strewing.
Oh my Lleu, my Lleu, it is not I whom your uncle enchanted, but you –
You who see fruit of paradise in my breasts’ fullness,
When you press hot kisses among my docks and blossoms, circle my rosehip nipples.
You see human eyes where grey stream-pebbles lie couched in moss.
You see a mouth where a butterfly only opens and closes her wings.
And what seem a wife’s gracious words
Is but the hoot of an owl through the halls of the twilit wood.
For if your uncle, the wizard, withdrew his wand from my spine,
Which keeps me tall and human-seeming,
Then I would turn and shudder into bee-swarm and summer mist,
With a sigh of homecoming to my native elements…
and become once more only leaves, and flowers, and the owl’s call