If my back, that is graven and wondrously tinted to imitate life, if my back were touched by winter, cracked and crumbled by frost - I'd hardly notice. Too many uncontrolled phrases have spilled; my stretched body's substance, solidity challenged by tremors that ripple my skin. I creak, my limbs creak in shifting, but it isn't age that holds me here, uncaring almost. My name a prophesy of strength, the lion held wide-jawed and helpless: out of strength, sweetness; out of sweetness, weakness. I hardly notice the trembling of my name, doused with cold water, split in a cloud of sudden steam. Why have I become solitary? And why have I become afraid?
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