Size / / /

Tonight I turn sudden from sunset

for one trickster's glimpse: You,

     star-garlanded; clouds

your laughing breath.

Tonight I sing Meera's strength

     out of tune, hesitant

with too much knowing, love

Tomorrow I'll speak tuneless

in accents that laugh

at mine.

     (You know I've stolen butter,

     fresh-churned, to taste

     cream on your lips)

Tomorrow (with questions always questions

wheezed through breathless fingers) I'll know

     I'm no Meera; never find

her sure voice. Tonight, love,

I only know you.

     (my fickle tongue

     remembers only whey)

Tonight I dance peacock feathers

to flute song dark

as twilight skin. Tomorrow

     I'll know the lie: recordings, steps,

sounds I learned by rote. The empty sky.




Shweta Narayan was born in India and has lived in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Scotland, and California. They feel kinship with shapeshifters and other liminal beings. Their short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mithila Review, Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana, We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology, An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables, Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Fantasy, and Clockwork Phoenix 3, among others. Shweta was the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship recipient at Clarion 2007 and was shortlisted for the 2010 Nebula Awards.
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