the milkpool warden

for t.a.b.

He came, the milkpool warden
brushing snow off shoulders,
black eyes to cut water
fingertips speaking
in warm runes on my forearm.

He danced in my closed eyes
I saw kingdoms, firelit gemstones,
songs in his low words,
the prince of all wonder
I heard his secrets —

He left at moonset, unspoken,
the music fell, spent fireworks.
I ran, trail faded, trees pressed in.
I bled, to see, to hear — push just once —
nothing followed him.

Years, dark, by the milkpool,
tracing runes with my fingers,
I hummed, the water sparkled,
songs flowered, trees grew shadows,
I found him alone.