Monday, May 12, 2008

What I Fear

Wear the colors of war,
My husband,
See how the red and the yellow
Smear your forehead
With valor.
And your eyes
Turn black with desire
To vanquish the foe.
Your sword shines steel
A glint in the sun,
Your helmet is plumed
With the feathers of the peacock
Blue-green and gold.
Your body is anointed
with sandal paste
perfumed with
the incense
of a hundred lamps
lit at night
proclaiming your glory.
What do you have to fear?

My feet are black
With the dust
Of destruction.
I lick dry lips
And wonder at the taste
Of ash,
Grey in my mouth.
I ride my steed hard
To return home
To be with you,
my wife.
All I can see
Is the river-red
Of blood
I let flow
In the battlefield.
I have won darkness for myself.
This is what I fear.

Do not anoint me for war anymore.
My tears are falling.


First published in Arabesques Review