Lying here these thousand nights,
these torches dimming,
these pillows crushed,
our minds softened by the hours
and these cups of wine—
by the wildness of your tales,
your way with words,
yet feeling this moment
like sand falling through the glass
come to this.
You came to me that night.
sent by your father,
fearing the madness of my violent lust,
Enraged at my power over you,
you entered my tent each night
certain you could dazzle me with words
and slip away unharmed
for another day.
You charmed me with your words,
your wildness, your mind.
You came to me when I motioned.
but you were never there,
and it was you I came to want,
not a slave girl wanting to escape.
There was magic in the way
you caused my mind to spin,
and it was you, not your tales,
that kept me wanting you to stay.
And when I saw your fear of me,
felt you fighting,
your insides hissing like a cat—
I tried with all the power in me
to ease your despair
tried in my clumsy ways
to let you know how deeply
I had come to care.
It hurts to see behind your smile
your fear of me,
see you play your part
like a puppet too frightened to come to life,
a mimic with too many masks.
It fills you with delight
to see your voice play on my soul,
holding me here.
It thrills you knowing I am dangling
like a locket in your hand,
twirling around and around and
around on your finger,
my mind a blur.
You love your power over me,
love entering my heart each night
like you do this tent,
stroking me as you speak,
my spirit swelling in wonder
at your mysteries,
love seeing in my eyes
my need to have you here
night after night.
And then, at dawn,
you love to kiss me on the cheek,
touch my lips,
my ears, my spine,
your fingers tickling me
until I laugh.
Your eyes sparkle as I reach for you,
floating off like a butterfly
in the morning breeze,
though sad, I think
from knowing you have come to love
your art too well.
I have sung your name to the morning star,
have sent my heart to you in poems,
placed bracelets on your arms,
these rings on your fingers,
these jewels in your hair,
these scarves of silk on your shoulders.
I have lain here these thousand nights,
in this fragrant air,
on these pillows,
listening to your tales,
aware that both of us are sharing
the best of what we have to give,
though not enough to fill each others heart
and ease the pain.
I have walked the desert,
have paced this tent,
have sat distracted,
my servants nodding,
but know of nothing I can do—
no song, no jewel, no rage—
to have you come and lie with me
because there’s no else you’d rather be,
after all of these nights,
I’m letting you go.
if only I had ways to fill the air
with some perfume to let us dream,
some magic words beyond the usual
abra ca dab ra,
some lamp to rub,
some mist to shout my wishes to,
some carpet that would let me soar
inside of you,
some gesture, some simple way
to show how human I have come to
because of you,
But now the sand has fallen.
I will not have you come another night
to entertain a sheik and never me.
I cannot bear to see
you come into my tent,
night after night,
your scarves flowing,
a curtain I cannot lift.
So, sweet teller of tales,
let us kiss farewell.
There is nothing I can do
stop the dawn
and keep you.
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/love-poems/to-scherazade-teller-of-tales.aspx">To Scherazade: Teller of Tales</a>