This story is paired with “The Story of King Shahrayar and Shahrazad” from 1001 Arabian Nights.
At first they crooned comfort—
the trains at town’s edge.
Their weight and wail strange welcome
in this place with this man
she’d hoped to learn by heart.
This was the first story she told herself.
A thousand and one nights later, she wearies.
She is out of stories, out of time.
She leans in hard. She listens.
Come away the trains call now come away.
There are no mornings
left you in his temple made of stone.
She goes to the tracks.
She meets her far sister.
The camel bells ring
in her husband’s head for days.
Robin Turner’s chapbook bindweed & crow poison: small poems of stray girls, fierce women is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press. Other work has most recently appeared in Anima Poetry, Red River Review, Referential Magazine, and elsewhere.