the string sung & the black shaft split the snowflakes. the shot went clean through, catching to fire as it neared the ebbing sun, accelerating, till a new star shone in the sky. when later the body lay in my icebox & my head lay on my pillow, i listened for the sounds of the whetstone & the bee's wax of the candles melting. for hand & hundred. rickity old thing that it was, the house sang along, timbers shivering viola; the box of discarded wedding rings jangled too. on the stoop, something crouched, some haunt, some nightmare. some old friend from The City. my soul settled like dust in my lungs & i took to sleeping, armaments bare on the sheets beside me. the northern lights lit up a glow around her face, the star of my arrow awash in the oscillating light. glaciars crowded around me, hungry & old. the first few steps i took out on the waters surface were dark, touched by ache & hollow. the red of the berries thrust in my belt the only color & soon i was smashed into a single shadow with the night sky. thin as a whisper i slipped through the keyhole & awoke. from the stoop crept the sounds of that other cruel angel. my trick of the light. on the side of my house that still faced The City i could hear the shuffle of my brother with his wick, coming to ignite the gaslights. later he will come & douse the glims, but there are no windows for me to see the encroaching dark. so i will have to be that looming night myself.