by Jaime Lee Moyer

In Denmark's
dark age of phantom kings,
Ophelia drowned.

He found her in a shaded pool,
a frail girl who favored white silk
golden curls and sea-green eyes,
her ivory skin tinged blue
hair spinning with the ripples
stirred by minnows nibbling the ends,
another body of clay left behind
in order to flee his shadowed embrace.

The grave they dug was narrow
smelling of garden loam and
the daisies in her hand,
a cross of stone to sit at her head
like a hundred that came before
each engraved with Ophelia's name,
and he waited while the women wept
the priests chanted prayers meant
for souls that hadn't wandered,
waited for nightfall to abandon
a body stolen from a Danish prince
and followed the trail of light
she always left behind.

In Paris Ophelia's eyes were brown,
a cabaret dancer who earned her grave
falling from the Eiffel Tower,
a Kaiser's gentle bride escaped him in Berlin
Ophelia's light fading in blue eyes,
death bells tolling on their wedding night.

He buried them in narrow graves
smelling of garden loam and
the daisies in their hands,
bodies of clay she left behind
to flee the darkness in his eyes,
waited while the women wept
the priests chanted prayers meant
for souls that didn't wander,
set a cross of stone at their heads
like the hundreds that came before
each one engraved with Ophelia's name,
waited for nightfall to abandon
his stolen body and purloined face,
a hunter with a shadowed heart
destined to seek Ophelia's
light drenched soul forever.

Jaime Lee Moyer has sold more than 80 poems in the last five years. Her work has appeared in Lone Star Stories, Dreams and Nightmares, Goblin Fruit, Sybil's Garage, Mythic Delirum, Strange Horizons, The Fifth Di, Aoife's Kiss, Flashquake, Illumen, and others. A sadly out of date bibliography is on her website. She promises to update that really soon.

Honest. She will.

Jaime's only short story sale to date was to Lone Star Stories. She plans to improve that sales record, hopefully in the near future. Her novels are represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency. She won the 2009 Columbus Literary Award for fiction, a fact that alternately stuns her into incoherence and sends her skipping around the house with joy.

All of these things make her very happy.

When asked what mask would choose her, she replied that a Mask of Titania would be most likely to favour her.

Illustration: 'Lips' by Roseau

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