Give me a leaf, and I'll hold it.

I'll turn it around in my hands, then drop it…

As it falls from my hands, to all the other leaves.

Then I'll look up, and ask you

What it was.

And if I do,

Will you tell me?

1. Memory

There is a saying among my people, that the first memory is the most important one we have, because no matter what other twists the universe has to place into our lives, no other memory will ever be our first.

Sometimes, when the night is too dark to see anything but what I imagine, I remember my mother. Perhaps her voice is nothing more than an echo of a dream. But it is the greatest treasure I possess, so I remember. "You can be anything," she whispers to me. "Poet, healer, spinner of dreams." I wake in the morning, knowing that I must do everything I can to make her words come true.

I know that she saw me. Visitors come occasionally to our world - and one of them was there to see, and tell. I lay upon her chest, newly born and wailing, and she looked at my face for no more than a moment. Between us, there was that one single moment, and then she was gone.

It is distant, barely formed, and perhaps the memory isn't even my own. But when asked about the first thing I remember, this is how I will always reply. Because before I could even understand what it meant to die for someone, my mother was the one who died for me. I will cling to her voice for as long as it remains - even if it really is just the echo of a dream.