In the second gyre of the Age of the Recluded Star:
The infected hermitage looms over exiled roofs,
An island in a sea of wide chimneys crumbling,
The heated metal edge of its the ridgepole steaming
In sleet rain falling, sifted by winds, while shadows
And doubted apparitions root themselves in water.
Three silences dowered with outside properties,
Three ghosts obedient to outside laws, each carrying
All their owned disbelief: a woman protected by a shroud
Of flinching caterpillars, her right eye is blue—
Two malign green eyes carved in the upraised hands
Of a stony saint—and a child prodigy skull-split
With ink-dark blood braided into an imperial coat.