Litha, by Sheikha A.
Solstice hangs thick behind hidden sunlight on a night
that hasn't severed cleanly from the hour that went down
a plump horizon of fleshy magenta, down a burning bridge,
down a seagull's salty sea scented sweat, and down
the ridges between mountains, a long distance from
the place where a pair of swans have forfeit the lake,
and a woman with her thatched crown folding her hands
toward an invisible prayer; we know it is the light
from Horus when beads of translucent pearls drip
down the forehead of the stones of her castle, and her body
dampens with the heavy air embowered in heat. The night
has only just begun, a young girl wears the colour of flame
on her hips as her feet dance along the tracks of a circle;
she is moments away from tracing it fully. The forest across
the mountains where she stands flails its wailing limbs;
the trees, toadstools and pixie folk have convened; someone
from the honey-fire has descended. He is quiet in the darkly
pulsing associated with stealthy crickets; only his torch
burns, the night's hair is ashes. The flame-clad girl
gyrates her hips to the humming of the woman's litany;
the moonlight turn-tilts cleaving her dance into a shadow.
From the edges of a summer's arc, clouds emboss
and in, as if, an instant, all thin fabrics illume.
Sheikha A. is from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. Her works appear in a variety of literary venues, both print and online, including several anthologies by different presses. Recent publications have been Strange Horizons, Pedestal Magazine, Atlantean Publishing, Alban Lake Publishing, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been translated into Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Persian. She has also appeared in Epiphanies and Late Realizations of Love anthology that has been nominated for a Pulitzer. More about her can be found at sheikha82.wordpress.com
1/25/2020 11:55:58 am
Epic, legendary, Ekphrastic gold!
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