The Palace of the Dragons

In the dark seas, in the deep and stirring waters, the dragons are building a palace.

Dragons do not build in human time, although they sometimes permit seers and unwed peasant daughters and abalone divers to swim among them.  They do not build in coral time, although they sometimes plant coral gardens.  They do not even build in fossil time.

The palace of the dragons is composed of curves and kelp-shrouded columns, vast theatres that thrum with stormsong and whaletide yearnings.  They do not decorate it with the treasures of humankind.  Neither do they remove the stray chains of iron, the coinfall treasures, the swords of soldiers cold and true.

Dragons build with death.  When they read their deaths in the sea’s unrests, they travel–how they travel–from sand and stone and sunken ship to add their bones to the palace.  The dragon has not been born who will rule from those bleached halls.  No dragon ever will.  The only crown a dragon acknowledges is its own steadfast heart.

for YKL