A filigree of intersecting lines
pale as spider web against her skin –
it could almost be sunlight
silvering the bright hairs on her arm.
This is her talisman.
One time, when her mind was dark,
a blade between her fingers, she
incised a calendar of suffering there.
Hope drawn from each bright bead of blood.
Whatever she released did not return.
At times she looks
at what she once engraved
and sees a pattern
carved by someone else
who died completing it.