Title: In love, in pain. Author: Tahi Genre: Letter/poem/angst Timeframe: Set on one of the Yuuzhan Vong worldships a while before before Vua Rapuung was shamed. I wrote this for the Valentine's Day letter challenge, but decided to post it separately. I did post it in my Many Happy returns thread, but I guess you'd have to be an Anakin/Tahiri fan to read that. **** Mezhan Kwaad, It is silent here in the warriors' grashal and the damp of morning lies heavy in the air. I breathe out and watch the curls of steam stretch into sinuous fingers - like yours, my dextrous love. Alone in this compartment where I sit with stylus and parchment in hand, I can still sense your fragrance, your flavour, and it fills me with a yearning that only lovers may know. The pain is glorious - searing through me like rabid hunger, then consuming me whole like a vangaak. Thus tortured, I cannot rest, I cannot eat, and I think of you constantly. Last night, after we parted, I couldn't get you out of my thoughts. It's as if you haunt me, temptress of Domain Kwaad, as if you have seeded something in my brain to drive me to this insanity. Then in the crazed grip of my insomnia I knew I had to record these my feelings for you. Dangerous, yes - but what is life without the imminent reality of death. I managed to procure writing implements (the usual method) and started to work, but surprisingly - to me anyway, having no experience in the art of the scribe - the words rolled from my mouth down the i'fii quill as easily as my blood flowed into its bladder. Easy is not the way of the warrior, least of all my way. Easy breeds indolence, lacissitude - and I would rather you run me through now with your shaper's finger-spears and bleed me dry, than watch me descend into the degradation, the deplorable ignominy of such weakness. I cast the stylus aside and went to find a healing skin to seal the slit I had cut on the back of my hand. Then I remembered the art of the poet, the hours spent in the crÃ¨che as a child wrestling with the many poetic forms as I tried to force my words to behave according to the rules of rhyme. I remembered the sweat, the punishment when I failed, even the feeling of failure itself - the frustration driving my nerves to the edge and making me insane with jealousy for those who succeeded. Such torment! And yet torment unlike any other, except the torment of this love. And so I started this poem. I struggled with it, fought with it all night. The agony of squeezing my feelings into this rigid shape, of forcing them to expand and contract, to scan, to rhyme according to the rules of the form I chose was excruciating. And I selected the most challenging - the ancient lyric rima of Domain Qah. I am now exhausted - but it is complete. However, I will not rest until I have your response. So read carefully, my cruel one. Step lightly though the stanzas in case you crush my heart with your heel. I await the next darkness - and the fury of your embrace. ****** Savage love, no poet's skill have I. A warrior from the crÃ¨che, my art lies not in symbols. And yet I see that my tradition is not so far apart, my stylus - my couffe. My parchment - the flesh of my foe, where time again I wrote my sacrifice of blood and pain. Dangerous love, my partner in crime, my passion for you unsummoned, callow, shy at first, a tender seed that grew bold and now begs to bloom, yet must in shadow remain. Discovery a double risk for both this poem, our love. Begging dispensation, the gods of love reward us with temptation. Forbidden love, is this our lot? Secret assignations praying the gods will smile, agony of deceit rising like sap, driving us to sweet despair. Desire, no longer docile, awaits its season, cares not for reason, but craves your touch - your absence an ache, an overwhelming thirst that naught can slake. Manipulative love, sculptor of life, your skill my inspiration. But not worlds for my fingers, nor flesh. I choose the lyric.