the blood crept from her throat

and mingled with the water

and seeped into her hair

like the ground they would lay her in

so cold, so cold

no, she couldn’t bear it

they would not put her in the dead earth

not with all the other ghosts

her brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers

who wandered below the dumb feet of the living

in the great maw of hell their descendants had trapped them in

no, she would not share their fate

not she, who had come so far and been so brave

with the last gasp of her spirit, she let go of the world

the gentle stream pried her lifeblood from the open gash

like a delicate mother

fingers of lilies and kisses of currents caught her body

and carried her from its womb

to the open sea.