The Journeymaker, Climbing

by Rose Lemberg

Tonight, the bare stones of these mountains are beaks
pinning me to the sky. Will you guide me,
white mink of the snow that falls skyward
from the step-weary earth that has hoisted me up?
Wrap my shoulders in you, and I will carry
the fur coat of your breath to the top of Ramár
where crow gods come to die — abyss-born, each clutching
an obsidian in its beak. In the crows' afterlife, they sprout
into the great trees that had taught me
to speak brittle shadow in my dreams when I was small.

Rose Lemberg is an immigrant from three countries. Her poetry, prose and unclassifiables have appeared in Fantasy Magazine, Goblin Fruit, Apex, Strange Horizons, Jabberwocky, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interfictions, and other venues. She edits Stone Telling with Shweta Narayan, and has recently edited The Moment of Change, an anthology of feminist poetry, for Aqueduct Press. Rose is currently adding the last finishing touches to her epic fantasy novel Bridgers, a tale of revolution and linguistics.

When asked what fantasy government she would choose to live under, given the choice, Rose replied as follows: "I view all governments as necessary, but problematic. I don't think all governments are equally bad, but how easy or hard it is to live under a regime heavily depends on the amount of privilege one has. I can't imagine having a huge amount of privilege in any world, but if I had to choose, I would live in my own fantasy universe, Birdverse. It has a wide variety of governments, all of which would be quite uncomfortable to live under, but I just love my world."

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