The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Sheikha A.
She’s mounted spikes on her spine,
the kraken glazing in her eyes circling
in the waters. Her sword has sliced
off heads; of hills placed in her palms,
the winds she has clutched
and blood she has hung
like wet clothes on a line to dry.
She was taught of a master
turning day to night with a mere
swerve of his cloak – like garment
of death – like veined destiny
picked out of meat – like being
chosen in a way steel was sharpened
on stone – precise yet quivering; sharp
against skins, painless like sinking
of a knife into softened butter.
Her sword had tasted flesh and bone
in perfect harmony of a gliding waltz,
the way they merged under the swift
press of her blade, the unfaltering drop
of a limb where she struck,
only the sound of whisper
where flesh parted flesh –
Her master’s decree was done,
daughter by her side, clothes wet
in metallic stain, glazing rubies
in her eyes – first spill of blood –
fear dying in a relentless grip
of pleasure. Her small hands clutch
large judgments, the winds don’t guilt
her body, and the kraken undulates
in a fiery tango of hunger and obedience.
She throws to it her offering –
first of many – her smile prescient –
this is how she’ll remember
this is how she’ll learn.
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of Christina Sng
More from author Sheikha A.:
Poems by Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee
“The night is cold enough to inspire poetry,” says Sheikha A. in her poem, “Reading My Bones.” This is the basis of Nyctophiliac Confessions – poems that are introspective and luminal, poems that require a certain amount of silence and space to be fully formed and appreciated. Reading these poems, I imagined that they were the kind of poems that assert themselves unbidden during a bout of insomnia. (A nyctophiliac being someone who loves the night or loves darkness).
Nyctophiliac Confessions is the 17th installment of Praxis’ chapbook series and contains twenty-six poems written by two poets, Sheikha A. and Suvojit Banerjee, interspersed with abstract paintings by Robert Rhodes.