The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
by Sheikha A.
Scarabs crawled out of my eyes
like tears; they locked me in with him –
like I was promised flesh to pass
on from ruler to priest to corpse –
I kept guard of tomb, resin and scraps,
the stench that tied their rumbling bones
longing for resurrection – what would they
know of souls pulled out of pits of hell –
how the undead crunched their fingers
around their legs, and the ankle feast
where they crawled on knees to their own
feet where their tendons sputtered
like fresh crackling; their teeth sinking
into bitter juices of the steps they took
towards my body as if it was worship
to lash whips at my skin, and my screams
a melody to the strings in their instruments.
I only asked – priest of my heart – to be given
the scythe of Anubis; the power of sand
to swallow their lands of gold they adorned
my body in for leisure, then sparring,
finally burial of their day’s defeated toiling.
He upsurged black shadows to descend
like tidal waves – revenge for tainting
what was his – altar – until they caught us
and locked us together in a scarab-grave.
This will be my third rebirth. I can hear
his trance; tremors of the tomb’s opening
lock; the rise of my name causing scarabs
to spill and scatter in fear – Ankhesenamun –
Anubis gathering its army,
gong of Imhotep’s cry regurgitating –
Fiction © Copyright Sheikha A.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
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.
This is just so good – the imagery is so brutal but the language is so beautiful.
A fantastic weaving of images in poetry.
sheer excellence: the scythe of Anubis; the power of sand
to swallow their lands of gold … fine work, Sheika!