Preface Poem

Deep in the center of the isle,
         near its soul,
there lived a young maiden who was already ripe.

    Born in the year of the locust,
come of age in the next year of the locust,
when grasshoppers fell like rain from the heavens,
and her blood first poured in puddles on the ground;
— she was a maiden of just so many moons
 when locusts jumped high all around her, and her insides let loose.

    A blood-maker now, she bore peaches on her bosom.
And her grandmother,
( for she had no mother, born as she was of a rose and the sea and a passing seaman’s tadpoles),
          — her grandmother swelled with joy.
“Soon men will hunt you....” she said.
“For when you’re ripe, one will pluck you from the vine...”.

    Her emerald eyes like a cat grew narrow,
                                      and then quite large and round.
       This is her story.