ishah

by Natalie Perman

“and he said, let her be burned”

when her fingers
wore the jewels
of the kedeshah
her face wore a veil;
the man touched her
but could not see beyond her eyes
in which desert sands glittered for miles.

there was enough in her veiled face
to tell of that knowledge:
how ripe fruit tastes sweet
and rotten flesh feels sour;

that sweet juice of oranges dripped
from her dress
like the saliva of lions’ tongues.

:and soon, it will be hers
the sunset and the desert sands
(they glitter for miles in her eyes)
the sweet ripe fruit and the
sour rotten flesh and her veil
in the wind; she will burn but the
sweet juice of oranges drips
from her dress
.like the saliva of lions’ tongues