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  April 2016
volume 13 number 1
-table of contents-
  home   (archived)
  contributing poets
  Sheikha A.
  Jonathan Beale
  Stefanie Bennett
  JD DeHart
  Diane Dehler
  Darren C Demaree
  David Flynn
  J Gamble
  John Grey
  JD Heskin
  Ed Higgins
  Andrea Janov
  Marie Lecrivain
  Ron Lucas
  Suzanne O'Connell
  Angel Uriel Perales
  Kushal Poddar
  Hattie Quinn
  Nydia Rojas
  James Robert Rudolph
  Cody Rukasin
  John Saunders
  Knute Skinner
  Annette Sugden
  Danny Uebbing
  Brian Watson
  Viola Weinberg
  Omar ZahZah
  mailing list
Sheikha A.
April 2016



photo by françois biajoux

    Sheikha A. hails from Pakistan and United Arab Emirates. With over 40 publications in various print/online publications such as Red Fez, Ygdrasil, A New Ulster, The Penmen Review, Pyrokinection, Mad Swirl to name a few, and anthologies by Silver Birch Press, she has also authored a short poetry collection titled Spaced (Hammer and Anvil Books) available on Kindle. She edits poetry for eFiction India.




Not twenty feet from the table
where I'm seated, a large
red stone deflects the ceiling lights
against the adjacent wall; it rests
majestically on your second finger,
like the veil over your head.

I watch your mannerisms,
the way you pick at the food
on your plate, I conjecture,
querying the waiter about its hygiene
you smell your morsels before
biting into them.

Not too long of eight years ago,
I look back into my days
from where I hailed from where
you currently call yourself
a visitor; I flashed similar
exquisiteness of kohl-lined eyes,
my demeanour resplendent with artifice
stones purchased from souks;

eyed people, food, hygiene
with the identical smirk
on your desert-ochred face. The length

of your skin, from where it is visible,
releases mystery and scents of
camouflaged truths of the locals
of the country you now claim
as your background.

From your glazed eyes
to your curved nose
and rose-glossed lips,
my eyes rest upon the stone
on your finger its sporadic
deflections against your face
with the movement of your hands
as you talk I look down at mine,
having borne the quirks of a city
stripping me of my veil(s). The veins have
mound and embossed unfavourably
to my mysteries.

The gold you wear is a flawless
translucence, exhaling an alchemized
beauty, draped like curtains

in casually guarded shops
like the ease of obliviousness
spread across your cheek as rouge.
The desert sun never scorched my feet
as much as your designer shoes do;

you are embellished in memories of a mask
I wore -and lost- and now you
project through a practiced lilt
typical of (my) Middle East.

I eat the food at my table,
coaxing myself an accomplishment
for wearing down the glamour

but knowing I stand at
an irretraceable crossroad

having lost both face and mask.

copyright 2016 Sheikha A.