Power, said the dragon, muscular, playful.

Do I need you more or do you need me more?

I never lose at this shell game: I never call.

He has the muscles, let him work for the both of us.

That's how he likes to be: opportuning, wistful,

wanting things that are locked away,

things that are, by their farness, most certainly precious.

Rubies large as pigeon eggs mean nothing in his grasp.

He spends long afternoons asleep, dreaming of the inaccessible.

It's tiring being a jewel.

Stay as you are, he says, never change: I have no talent for newness.

I call in the thieves, needing a breath of air.