But they left her leave to live.

Maybe it be the heat done warm their bones tired, sun blunt their knife blades, wind blow dust to their eyes and cloud thoughts o’ death away? But I likes to think it somethin’ else.

I settle on that their eyes done see her, not how they thought she be, nothin’ but a taste to take as they wish, but that they see her proper this time. See to her very soul; a woman, eyes like seashells and the scent o’ cinnamon on her skin. She who reads late to the moon time and spins her tales to the trees.  A woman who like the taste of fish spiced on her tongue and the sound of poetry at her ear. At night she dreams o’ wedding days with dancing till sun up and when she looks to the mirror she imagines bellies growing big under a breeze blown through shady mimosa trees.

Them black boots see the truth of her, and they stop.

They think to their own sisters, mothers, daughters.

And their eyes float a moment between knife blade and flower blossom and they laugh at the beauty of the world.