Size / / /

Seen true: a skeleton,
a woman striding statue-tall
in a time of cities, of temples, of stories
lost: no foundation texts inscribed on her tall body
only her collar-bones in Shahr-e Sukhteh's dry ground: aš, aš
words unfinished, unfound—and an eye in her skull's left socket
that would have glowed gold and sun-patterned in her face,
seeing / sun-world, scorched to bone and gold / oh
/ women of gold: legs as long as temples,
as strong / to see her walk,
more than a story
I made.

Alex Dally MacFarlane is a writer, editor, and historian. Other historical stories can be read in the anthologies Steam-Powered 2: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories, Missing Links and Secret Histories, and Zombies: Shambling through the Ages. She is currently editing The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women, out late 2014.

Where it is not stated, translations from Ancient Greek are by Sonya Taaffe and translations from Arabic are by Sofia Samatar, used with their permissions, for which the author is deeply grateful.
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