The Owl King's wife is carrying the moon. It waxes within her, surrounded by a blood-black cosmos that is starred with dreams and hopes. Its bones are made from her blessings. Owl silence guides its shape. The Owl King's wife is pregnant with the old country magic of love.
Come night, sparrows and wild horses take her down to the forest lake. Rose petals, fern fronds, drift on the waters - the Owl King has ordered the birds to do this, for nothing is too beautiful for his wife. He has procured honey and cream soap for her to wash with. She lays in the fragrant dark lake as if it is a sky in which the moon can grow, and she cleanses the day from her skin. Dirt specks, difficult moments, hard-edged words. They float away; she becomes soft again. Every night she does this to prevent cracks in her skin as it stretches; cracks in her soul. She is waxing like the moon, like her child: she is growing to motherhood.
And the Owl King sits on the highest branch in the forest and watches the world. He watches long and watches slow, pretending he has some power over this situation, but feeling as vulnerable as a feather caught in a storm. For no one knows better than he there is no netting the moon.
As night tips tendered into morning, the Owl King's wife goes to sleep water-scented and soft amongst alyssum, with badgers for her guard. She dreams of nebulae full of wonderment as the child stirs. She has the moon beneath her heart, the earth against her skin. She is a universe.