Sometimes it takes a grain of salt to break
curses; somewhere a cosmos rewrites itself.
His eyes are Bellatrix, radiant on ebonized
velvet; shoulders, strong limbs of Betelgeuse;
together we are a clan of destinies, chronic
in complex spectra of fragmented algorithms:
this is also the way I dream. In a past night
I saw a woman’s hair the make of blood
and flesh, chest cleave-parted to expose
her ribs. The dust from the battlefield
in which she stood was a balming blend
of conquest and defeat – the kind familiar
to astral skippers like us. And his weary
twinkle behind a body of clouds – bodies
light, and bodies of heavier determinations,
poured over as tar on his sleep. Star-wept
soliloquies brandish the gold-dense sweat
on his shoulders, fatigue on silence: I read
with ash-speckled irises, the size of Orion’s
death cutting into stitches of other belts.
His eyes are vacuous forts of a black moon,
and my lips, a tale weaver – when stars turn
to powder, I call him cold, like ice-encrusted
wind, strapping ribbons across his silence.
It is darker than a starless night; I’m covering
lines on dents where my elbows rest
when he reverses to dreams of a dead flame,
when I watch his eyelids shudder in pleasure,
when I understand the meaning of human
flesh, like the woman in my dream, bare-
filleted, collecting her pieces how best she
knows; his sleep never arrhythmic, body
accreting heat. I watch the blue-eye expand,
flowing fire, constellations fleeing the sky-
tomb, metallurgic eternities reviving,
moon melting under the warmth of his arms.
Soon she will scatter her flesh, a lone moat
will shelter her leftover bones. And I
will continue urging his sleep – weeping
hollows toward my clan of starry shadows.
Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, most recently Star*Line Journal, Mobius, New Mystics, Fourth & Sycamore, The Metaworker, and elsewhere. For additional information, visit sheikha82.wordpress.com.