Issue No. 3, Winter 2012

Allerleirauh in the Woods
Sandi Leibowitz

When I fled I didn’t choose
the gown golden as the sun,
the gown silver as the moon,
or the gown shining as the innocence of stars.

I wore instead the cloak of fur
stitched with a thousand animals’ pain.
I became all beasts and none,
my silence singing with a thousand tongues.

Run! calls Deer.
Leap stone and bramble!
Escape the thicket
of your memories.

Hide, says Rabbit.
Lose yourself, gray as bark,
low as grass.

Sing! howls Wolf,
a litany of your injuries.
Fling your song to
the bones of the Moon.

Girl, whispers Fox,
where’s your skin?
Steal shadow.
Gnaw on solitude.

Forget, growls Bear.
Make winter of your grief,
dream it gone;
stumble out in spring.

My father’s kingly hide concealed
darkness deeper than night;
the forest is guiltless of sin.
Here we will survive,
creature of a thousand-and-one cracked hearts,
creeping at the margins of the world.

Sandi Leibowitz lives in New York City and teaches in New Jersey, hence she spends a great deal of time suspended in the air on bridges over water in a contraption with a combustible engine. She is therefore very much a creature of all four elements, and afraid of trolls. She writes fantasy, mostly based on myth and fairy tales. Her poems have appeared and are forthcoming in magazines such as Mythic Delirium, Apex, Strange Horizons, Niteblade and Silver Blade. Her stories may be hunted down (and hopefully not killed but served a tasty brunch) in Jabberwocky, Mirror Dance, Shelter of Daylight, Cricket and Shining Cities: An Anthology of Pagan Science Fiction.