From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism






The knight shone brighter

and smiled wider than the

princess who would be his

bride and said, “I have done

It. I climbed the cliffs until

the clouds wove fog from

my breath. I broke through

your untamed forests. I speared

the leopard, one-eyed ravager,

and left its head for the townsfolk.

I rode when I could and

walked when I could not.

I ate my horse.

I stood at the edge of the caldera

and looked down on lava and felt

the dragon’s breath, brimstone

blossom and drew my spear

and launched it true”–

and the princess raised her hand

and said, “Enough.

“Unasked you drove

spikes into our sacred mountain

and destroyed our wood, the

prized wood of which so little

remains and killed a leopard

and killed the dragon,

our dragon,

the beast which so many flocked

to see, that so many watched

riding the thermals under our

hot sun, and left its carcass

here, for us to remove, to eat

or bury or let rot under our hot

sun, and for this you think you

have earned my hand

and our land.

“And I ask you, who will clean

your mess?”

The knight turned red

and furious and his fury

was nothing,

a dead dragon’s corpse

lying under a hot sun

that was not his

and he was silent.

Priya Chand

Priya Chand currently lives in the vicinity of Chicago. She majored in neuroscience and minored in visual art. She now uses the latter at her day job in analytics and the former while moonlighting as a speculative fiction and poetry author. This is her first published poem. Find more of her work at