The Falcon

(imitation of 12th century Arab-Sicilian)

I owned a falcon whose wings were long,
An Emir’s gift for a marriage song.

She was like the shadow of a palm leaf in flight–
And in repose, like the shadow of a slender blade.

She was like the shadow of fire on smoke,
A sunbeam surging through clouds.

Her blood-feathers opened to my caress,
Her eyes quickened the embrace of death.

O falcon, bride of hunger and light,
You have risen like the risen sea and are gone.

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