I was playing again on the stone stairs of the castle where I’d grown up a couple of lives ago. I could hear the hiss of seconds passing. My mother sat as I’d left her, among mothers,
aiming a thread through a needle’s eye.
All was as it should be. I shouted grave orders to the dolls, my prisoners. Clearly I was still afraid of my largeness, my separateness, my long
horrible arms striking out.
Supplicants and prey. All was as it ever is. The hissing sweeping hand. I turned on a top stair. Open the door, and the world’s silver wires sizzle—long lit hallways with workers
hawking their nations’ wares.
A passing-by of shoes with gold buttons. So like my own. I step through the door . . . hissing sweep of my gown. I open my eyes. Trust now: the body will know what I am
and what to do about it.