Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sheikha A. writes

The oath of silence

She’s turned off the lights;
darkness hangs on the collar 
of the room

the floors reflect 
on their jellyfish ceramics

a man hanging at the ceiling, 
watching her face

from the corner he’s hunched in, 
a blade of light slides

through his vacuous retinas, 
she knows what it means

and makes no haste in laying 
flat on her back,

wishing for time to fall in 
thick liquid – her mighty powers 

moan like a cat’s lashes 
pulled off from their roots;

her lids drop like a concubine’s robe;

her body arches skywards. 

 Helen Leete -- Arched Back Bather

1 comment:

  1. There is a Sicilian proverb, "Cu è surdu, orbu e taci, campa cent'anni 'mpaci" ("He who is deaf, blind, and silent will live a hundred years in peace"). Omertà is the Mafia code of silence. The word may have been derived from the Latin "humilitas" (humility or modesty), which became "umirtà" and then finally "omertà" in some southern Italian dialects, but it may also have come from the Spanish "hombredad" (manliness), modified after the Sicilian "omu" (man); the code, however, has been observed at least as far as back as the 16th century as a way of opposing Spanish rule.


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