To the Waters

To the Waters
Megan Arkenberg

–Or do not come. It’s all the same to us.
You cannot even say, They’re waiting,
out there in the hills, in the old foundations
of cottages lost in fires long ago,
their ashes scattered on the wind.
We are used to lacking company.
Truth be told, we hardly note
the solitariness of passing days
unless, perhaps, we see the woodwitch sprout
along a road once traveled. And if

you do arrive, yet later than expected,
one reason is as good as any other. Say:
the smoke is still thick in the hills
from flames only the dead remember.
I could not find my way through my garden:
Anemones rose around my gate
and I was trapped. Or say:
I was not certain of it anymore,
the truth of it, if any truth there was,
after I had been away. The point is,

the berries are here still, whether or not
you come to taste them. The song goes on
without you, and the dance.
It’s all the same to us, if your solemn eyes
should wonder now, or weep,
or even if they slumber
in those old unquiet dreams.


Megan Arkenberg lives in northern California, where she is pursing a Ph.D. in English literature. Her poetry has appeared in dozens of places, including Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, Asimov’s, and Flytrap, and her short fiction has recently been published in Shimmer and The Dark. She was the nonfiction editor for Nightmare’s Queers Destroy Horror! special issue, and she also procrastinates by editing the fantasy e-zine Mirror Dance. Find her online at