The End of Scheherazade
By Nancy Sheng
16 July 2012
The train moved through my senses,
a smear of spilled India ink,
and underneath the weight of my tongue,
I tasted oranges.
I told you this, three times,
that I always start my stories the same,
with these words:
Once there was a girl, and her death.
Her death lived with her all her days.
I wanted to be Shahryar,
and you could bring me a thousand wonders.
The last one you keep for yourself
and it could have lit up the bright spaces,
me sitting cross-legged, a ragged lotus,
my nails scratching snakes into your feet.
You could have loved me, so impossible,
and I could have wistfully let you go.
Somehow that sounds more heroic,
falling onto my shield, my ribs splayed,
and hyacinths could have grown from my lungs,
saying always, This here was a beautiful thing.