Scheherazade Sings

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. 

Scheherazade sings tonight
Her gauze veils
Falling one by one
As she spins her tales.

The sheik lounges
On silken pillows
Hanging on every word
Of song she utters.

Their marriage vows
Born of necessity—
No other virgin
Remains to wed him—

But our girl is clever
And her words weave spells
Around his heart…
Tales unending
At break of day.

Each one intriguing
Each one compelling
Each one postponing

The inevitable conclusion

For one more day.

Until her tales have
Built a bridge of words
To raise her up to safety.

And the sheik falls in love
With body and soul
As Scheherazade sings.


Rie Sheridan Rose has written five chapbooks of poetry. Her poems have appeared in Penumbra, Illumen, The Voices Project, and Wolf Willow magazine. She has poetry in Terror Train, Bones II, and Abandoned Towers as well, and is also a lyricist, having written words for many songs by Marc Gunn.