onto the second,
I spy with my silver-blue eye ...
lily-sprinkled water perfumed my tongue;
the sacred ceremony that cleansed my soul
for our mighty emperor.
my dragon-encrusted obi cinched tightly,
to please our immortal ruler -
He Who Paints The Moons With Silver
the blessed one, who saved me from my life
after his armies slaughtered my village
after they raided our stores and spit on our corpses
our beloved, enlightened Father Of These Lands
was my caretaker, his jailer, my executioner
and I was his nightly opium
bejeweled, plucked, and wrapped beautifully
to please his Highness in the evening,
his tastes and wants growing every moon.
two other girls, in emerald and sapphire robes
writhed and beckoned and salivated at his knees
begging intricately for either release or endearment
I grew sickened of those filthy nights
dishonourable, disgraceful, demeaning
filled with fluids and smoke, lust and tears
so I brewed a special, sacred herb
for only the Holy One to drink in his tea
for only the Heaven's Son to infuse with his soul
his mistress would scream in regret and denial
for her only salvation was dead,
traveling to the skies in fury at his early departure
but my dragon-encrusted obi was not so tight any longer;
our Heavenly Ruler had left me a gift, unknowingly
to raise my family into the ranks they belonged.
the title of Empress Mother of China rang softly in my throat
I was a gift from the Emperor, left behind to nurture
and the people agreed with his wishes;
The Golden Lily of the Heavens, they called me
and so I was; for even the most cunning of assassins
must have a fall-back plan.