Once upon a time in a stainless-steel dream
Two famelicose smiles devoured a dead scream
Chewing on its gristle, hollowing out its dune
Crumbling stray cinders into a solid prune
In a withering wilting world upon a lyre
I smudged scorched faults with a disdain
That belied my quaking waffle’s refrain
Festering, blistering, seeping sputtering fire
“What if I did steal, if I did once lie,
For the hunger that would not let me die?
I am one of you again!
Let me in, I paid!
I am one of you, by pain,
By shame endured, by the fell horror
By the blood that washes away honour!”
But echoing in your husk, flétrie and flayed
You heard the scream, only the dread scream
That we hollowed out once upon a dream
In a cage of stainless steel so dearly purchased
Crying: ‘O sea-dragons, sea dragons, melt away!
Come drown our dawnsun another day.
Your pristine glory, born of quelled sorrow
Shall never make a today of a morrow’
Hibah Shabkhez is a writer of the half-yo literary tradition, an erratic language-learning enthusiast, a teacher of French as a foreign language and a happily eccentric blogger from Lahore, Pakistan. Her work has previously appeared in The Mojave Heart Review, Third Wednesday, Brine, and a number of other literary magazines. Studying life, languages and literature from a comparative perspective across linguistic and cultural boundaries holds a particular fascination for her.