LIAB Text 8

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Book (LIAB)
Page by page (Text 8)

Page Info

Turn Number:~75 AW
Side's Turn:Gobwin Knob

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LIAB Text 8.jpg
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Lady Sylvia Lazarus sat in her saddle, awaiting the order to take to the sky.

Between her legs, the red dwagon stood patient, motionless. Placid as a mountain. It was a beast of air and smoke and fire, a destroyer, an ender of lives.

So was she. They understood one another. Let the blues and the yellows snort and fidget and preen. She and her red smoldered in place like conjoined embers. Fire need not run wild all the time. Deep under a mountain it raged in silence, and that was enough. Another city would burn this turn. That was enough.

They had marched for many days since Unaroyal fell, since her former Queen had chosen not to be, rather than be like Sylvia. Somewhere on those long roads, the Lady Lazarus had composed a poem of herself in her head, never to be recited:

I have done it again.
One turn in ten or a hundred and ten
I manage it—

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a pink flower on bone,
My right foot

A battle trophy,
My face a featureless, fine
Doll's head.

Peel off the crest
O my enemy
Do I terrify?—

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour brimstone
Will vanish in a turn.

Soon, soon the flesh
The ’crypt ripped will be
At home on me

And I, a smiling woman.
I am only Level Six
And like my Mistress I have many times to croak.

This is Number Three
What a trash
To annihilate each side.

What a million filaments.
The Carnymancy crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unveil me hand and foot—
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies,

These are my hands,
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was One.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all,
I rocked shut

As a scarlet seashell.
They had to call and call
And misname me to breathing again.

Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do so in a spell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

"A miracle!"
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart—
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a soft plush

Or my face on a shirt.
So, so, my Warlord
So, my Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure heroine doll

That melts to a shriek
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, Ash–
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there—

A limp gray banner,
A blank shield,
A fallen crown.

My Titans, my Fate,

Out of ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

[In tribute to Sylvia Plath, for whom dying was a call. --Rob]