You ask me why?
Flint. She was spark. I taught her how to weave herself
through every weft of fearless, the warp of her a seabird cry,
her gift a glinted fanfare to a sky that grimaced, sullen at her brilliance.
Strike. I told her don’t you dare apologize, instead said see how far this craft
will sail you. I said, find your lightning out beyond horizon’s edge. Her fingers
flickered fireflies through thread.
Oil. I lit my courage near her bed until it burnt to offering,
until her head gave birth to gods, her hands to fates. I taught her
she could weave the pattern; memory was a palace she could own.
Wick. I led her way from room to loom until she labyrinthed
each warp and weft, could chart it in the night if inspiration struck.
I was the length of thread she held.
Fuel. Another mother might have whispered her invisible. Because I would not
let her darken her own lantern, she was blinding, bright until she hung
on my words, her neck askew, her face erased: blank as winding cloth.
Catch. I, outsider, watched while loss came spidering my throat,
knotted fibers till my lungs filled up with filaments. Resentment
webbed along the lintel of the door.
Pyre. I saw the kind of mind that wrapped her up, remade
to something chitinous. Goddess made her spin in circles, cornered,
craft destroyed each cleaning day. I’ve poured out all the temple oil.
Draft.You can change your fate. My words arrowed back to me.
Better I had warned her: genuflect and daily. Arachne was a taper lit that
consumed her form, converting every wish I blew to char.
Flame. Athena meant to smother her, but I remain, a mother made of smolder,
soaked with shroud. Loss unwove my story, left me stranded, nothing but a mortal
coil. Now, I am the twist that no one told, just a margin left to burn.