E-mail from Scheherazad


“E-mail from Scheherazad”

Hi, babe. It’s Scheherazad. I’m back
For the millennium and living in Hackensack,
New Jersey. I tell stories for a living.
You ask if there is a living in that.

You must remember: Where I come from,
Words are to die for. I saved the virgins
From beheading by the king, who was killing
Them to still the beast of doubt in him.

I told a story. He began to listen and I found
That story led to story. Powers unleashed, I wound
The thread around the pirn of night. A thousand days
Later, we got divorced. He’d settled down

& wanted a wife & not so much an artist.
I wanted publication. It was hardest,
Strangely, on my sister, Dunyazad. She
Was the one who nightly used to start it.

She and my ex do workshops now in schools
On art & conflict resolution. Narrative rules!
I teach creative writing at Montclaire State,
And I’m on my seventh novel and book tour.

Shahrayar and I share custody of our little girl.
We split up amicably. I taught him to heal
His violent streak through stories, after all,
And he helped me uncover my true call.

oleh Mohja Kahf

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