I am a load of rock, cluster of weights that round and fall and settle against one another. I lay them out on the ground, cairn shaped. “This is me,” I say, and step away.
I climb, empty handed, into the fountain. It is dry, the Wellspring gone walking. I fit my back to the curve of the wall, tuck my knees up close. I wait. My little frog heart is near, but does not approach. I wait. The Wellspring finds me there, hands like rain, rivers of kisses, glad of me, welcoming. My hair lifts in the rising water, everything hidden slips free.
I am clean and light. I get up. Daylight catches on the wet of me like jewels on skin, alight. I am home.
NH stands where I can see him. I see the beauty, and the wear, a dryness about his eyes, tips of his hair gone ragged and dusty. I trace the old scar at his shoulder, rest my temple on the rise and fall over his heart. He fans his hands across my back, holding me. The longer we stand there, knowing only this, the more vibrant we become.
My Princess comes for me, urging me into the day. “Don’t you have another name?” I ask. “I feel silly calling you Princess.”
“You can call me Princess Brainiac,” she says, “if you want to,” and I laugh. She takes my hand and we walk out together. She leads me on a path I cannot see, rising where the land falls, circling through intangibles. I step in faith. She takes me to her tower. She takes me home.
The tower rises white and narrow out of a grove of yellow aspen. From the top she can see everything. It’s a good place to work. As we climb, the trees serenade us. The tower fills with light that spills out into the air like wings.
Far far below, from the rock cairn of my days away, small white flowers rise and open.