Black water hungrily licks the silent stones by my feet, as I gaze across the empty lake and remember the night when the clock started ticking.
That night of the gargantuan moon, when crystal shards of reflected light turned her blonde hair into the luminous silver of a wild unicorn, tangled, damp strands of which clutched at her palely glowing face as if terrified of letting go. The icy water made us gasp and catch our breath; in that small suspension of life’s movement, the goosebumps of our skin met, pressed flat, and forced the air from our lungs once more, a soft, warm cloud of our mingled existence drifting over the shuddering water.
That was the night the moon gave you to her, her heart’s desire, her water baby. We laughed when we discovered you were a girl and joked about naming you Selene, the Goddess of the Moon, who would transform the cot we built you into a magical, gilded chariot and fly across star-studded skies every night, pulling the dreams of the world behind you.
Perhaps, even then, we sensed your power. Or perhaps you were listening to our words, mutely learning the script of your tiny destiny, which tiptoed closer with each ticking beat of your mother’s heart.
By the lake I listen again to the sound of no clock ticking. The moon hides in shame, shrouded in the clouds of other peoples’ existence; she cannot meet my eyes.
She must have known all along that her gift was never intended for me. She must have known that a Goddess of her transcendental realm could not survive in the lusty warmth of even a single day on Earth.
I lift burning eyes to the star-studded sky and search for your chariot pulling the dreams of the world behind you, amongst which my own dream cries in anguish as the speed of your departure – and that of your mother – shatters it, like a time bomb, into oblivion.