Lisa Ciccarello
January 2015


I’ll explain everything while we move

I was scarce a daughter
before I became a warrior
to hunt down a warrior
clothed in a jacket of gold.

There was a village & a warrior
& his army was a road gold with flame above the sound of horse’s hooves

& they gold the village black

& all that survived was one child
lowered into the well by her mother, shot down
by the warrior himself
amid an army of arrows.

That’s what they tell me, but I was crying all night long.

I wept & the burning homes covered my cry.

I pinned my girlhood behind me
to pierce him through the heart
with this jade arrow
I wear in my braid.

I was a baby in a well & a whole village burned.

There was no one left who knew my mother
or I was from her.
No one to see the arrow or the killer.

There was a baby wailing in a well & a town full of ashes.
Someone raised me up & put a jade arrow in my hair.

Now her revenge is always on me as an ornament.


Previously published in Better Magazine