a wave passed along the centipede's legs
was married one day
before a jealous rival
killed her husband.
And so it was
her fate to enter the flames
of her husbands pyre.
Her sisters prepared her
as they might for a birth,
urging her to redouble her strength.
The implacable sun rose
and with a show of gaiety
they walked her to the place.
Foreign explorers pulled her from the flames
just in time and at the cost of
bloodshed on all sides
managed to carry her to their ship
Two days the explorers sailed
and finding a calm bay set anchor.
During this time she would eat nothing
and spoke not a word.
Her eyes seemed to accelerate time,
all offers of kindness
seemed to merely frighten her.
There was no moon the night she vanished.
The explorers later found
she had ran back to her village
eager to fulfil her sad destiny.