1001 Songs

This story is paired with “The Story of King Shahrayar and Shahrazad” from 1001 Arabian Nights. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free. 

Embedded Narrative

The frame story
was her fame story.
That’s something, I suppose.


Women get such a bad wrap,
but it was him whose love meant death.
It was him who wanted to hear
just one more story.

Fate and Destiny

Some say it exits,
other let it kill them.


He could picture the babies she would grow.
She could picture the babies he would kill.


What’s another word for desperate?

Unreliable Narrator

Fool me once,
Shame on you.
Fool me twice,
well, that’s the way it goes usually.

Crime Fiction

Bang! Bang! Bang!
Yes, indeed.


Aside from the guts and gore,
don’t you want to know the ending?
It’s alright. Listening doesn’t
make you like them.


A new love doesn’t
make a new you.

Science fiction

It’s hard to believe, sometimes,
but so are most things.

Poetry and prose

Eventually you do have to make a choice,
but don’t worry: words will take
whatever worship you offer.

Best Seller

Blatantly vulgar, improbable plots,
painfully childish; above all
badly written. Evidence suggests
it wasn’t particularly treasured.


I like to imagine it was her
holding the knife to his throat,
whispering: beg, again.


Cetoria Tomberlin is a poet and writer originally from South Georgia. She received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Berry College. Her work has previously appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Southern Women’s Review, and online at LADYGUNN, HelloGiggles, McSweeney’s and various other publications.