Sometimes it takes a grain of salt to break
curses; somewhere a cosmos rewrites itself.

His eyes are Bellatrix, radiant on ebonized
velvet; shoulders, strong limbs of Betelgeuse;

together we are a clan of destinies, chronic
in complex spectra of fragmented algorithms:

this is also the way I dream. In a past night
I saw a woman’s hair the make of blood

and flesh, chest cleave-parted to expose
her ribs. The dust from the battlefield

in which she stood was a balming blend
of conquest and defeat – the kind familiar

to astral skippers like us. And his weary
twinkle behind a body of clouds – bodies

light, and bodies of heavier determinations,
poured over as tar on his sleep. Star-wept

soliloquies brandish the gold-dense sweat
on his shoulders, fatigue on silence: I read

with ash-speckled irises, the size of Orion’s
death cutting into stitches of other belts.

His eyes are vacuous forts of a black moon,
and my lips, a tale weaver – when stars turn

to powder, I call him cold, like ice-encrusted
wind, strapping ribbons across his silence.

It is darker than a starless night; I’m covering
lines on dents where my elbows rest

when he reverses to dreams of a dead flame,
when I watch his eyelids shudder in pleasure,

when I understand the meaning of human
flesh, like the woman in my dream, bare-

filleted, collecting her pieces how best she
knows; his sleep never arrhythmic, body

accreting heat. I watch the blue-eye expand,
flowing fire, constellations fleeing the sky-

tomb, metallurgic eternities reviving,
moon melting under the warmth of his arms.

Soon she will scatter her flesh, a lone moat
will shelter her leftover bones. And I

will continue urging his sleep – weeping
hollows toward my clan of starry shadows.





Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her work appears in a variety of literary venues, most recently Star*Line Journal, Mobius, New Mystics, Fourth & Sycamore, The Metaworker, and elsewhere. For additional information, visit