My Soldier, My Stranger
Scherezade Siobhan

wherever the war tanks
in their mineral tableau
amble as titans to slaughter

sit & tug
at the cradle of this doubt

nest its wefts
as wasps do thorns

as rug-sellers with
mint tea tone
palming balkan kilims

lip the brim
of its slim oasis

welcome the sun,
its burning yarrow

pick me a flower
from your city’s gut

line my ankles
with a refugee’s red ink

the speed of squalor
is meteoric between us

it travels beyond
these garbage domes

as a rooster’s
guttural horn

plucks honeycombs
out of the alphabet


save me your sabbath
save me souks of black olives

save me the dictator’s idol
from each palindrome march of peace

you are shams-e-tabrizi
books flung into fountains

a shepherd of asphodels
guarding the graveyards

you are death. you are desire
its extempore. its lung. its liquor.
its tongue cocked. its eyes spellbound

you are cities cut into cigarette burns

                        aleppo. cairo. marrakesh

my Gilgamesh, you are
a stray dog
a wishbone

locking shut
the empty room
of every hungry throat

Scherezade Siobhan is an Indo-Roma psychologist, writer, and maker of world's finest Spanish omelettes. Her work has been published/is forthcoming in tnYPress, Black and Blue Writing, PIX Quarterly, The Nervous Breakdown, Cordite Poetry Review, Fractal Literary Magazine, Electric Cereal, Bluestem, and others. Her first collection of poetry, Bone Tongue, was released by Thought Catalog books in 2015. She is a Best of the Net Anthology and Pushcart Prize nominee for writing as well as a former international features writer for Global Comment. / / @zaharaesque.