I pray for you every night in the way of the old religion.
By which I mean I slip into your bedroom window just after you’ve fallen asleep. I sidle up to your resting form and lay my hand on your arm.
You are steady, heavy, almost peaceful (if you can believe that). Your breath is a soft song in two-part harmony. It makes me smile.
I brush the hair from your face and bend close. I whisper into your ear a reminder of your greatness. I share my wish that you will always come home to yourself and make your offering to the world from that place. May you be shameless and proud, I say.
I leave you like this, crawling back out your window and flying away with no lingering glance (because I no longer spend my magic on that kind of mourning when the sky is bound to lighten).
There’s a reason you’ve never once woken up, it’s a secret the grandmothers of the old religion pressed into my hands long ago. I’ll never share it.
But I will share this: this magic is the reason why, on those days when you are untethered and doubting that you’ll ever do what you came to do, you catch the scent of lavender in the air and remember how my eyes see you.