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"In the Presence of Kings"
I stood once before, in the presence of Kings.
Ones whose bodies, and noble spirits,
Stretched far beyond the sight of mortal man.
Along valley air, they traveled,
Where tall things grow tall,
Until they pressed upon the eternity of the sky
And dwarfed the finite marks of time
That scamper and crawl along their roots.
I searched for their kingly faces,
But found none, and could do naught but stand
My knees trembling,
As the Kings, and their giant, invisible hands
Quartered me alive,
Peeling flesh away from bone;
Exposing the soul, and all things that lay inside,
Casting all that they could find and manage,
Among their vast kingdom,
So that my soul floated in the valley air,
And what was within me,
Lay at the feet of tall things that grow tall,
Until they grew roots of their own,
And wished never to leave the Earth on which they landed.
Yet they could not stay,
As anything cursed with such little time
To behold the Earth.
I was bound together, once more
And set to walk in shade,
To search for the final piece, the one that
Had escaped the clumsy and unfitting bonds
With which I was mended.
A quest on which I shall diligently adhere,
Though it cannot—it shall not—ever be done.
Not by me.
Not until I stand once more before Kings,
Not until my soul is once more set free,
And all that lies within may rest.