by Hayley Stone
It's only once you're gone that I begin
to appreciate the long tradition of suffering
amongst the gods.
The greatest of the Norse deities, Odin,
hung himself upon a tree to learn the secrets
of dead men, suffering nine days and nights
of splintering agony—
all payment for the chance to know.
Now imagine what I would have done
to arrive at wisdom safely ahead of you.
...Maybe I could have avoided this.
Then again, maybe not. For all his wisdom
Odin still died.
Hayley Stone is a writer, editor, and poet from California. She is the author of the sci-fi novel Machinations, which was chosen as an Amazon Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Book of the Year for 2016. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Fireside Magazine, New Myths Magazine, Star*Line, and various anthologies. When not reading or writing, Hayley studies history, falls in love with video game characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points.