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. 

A story is like a bird,
a nightingale,
desired by sultan above all else.
Fragile, keening, lascivious
in its want to please,
voice spread open to the sky,
its song worships sound, gifts life.

A story is like sultan’s garden,
thorns pricking into conflict,
drawing blood,
developing into ambrosial scents
and stimulating leaves.
So easy to become lost in such a garden,
desire it above all else,
to succumb to its twists and turns and
the feel of soil on bare skin,
to lick the earth into mud.

A story is like a beautiful woman,
a wise woman,
a knowing woman.
Aroused scent character,
lips beguiling setting,
skin slick plot,
muscled thighs the beginning
to a thousand thousand possibilities.
A story to listen to
night after night after night.

margaret-kingsburyMargaret Kingsbury’s short stories and poems have appeared in Pulp Literature, NonBinary Review, and Expanded Horizons. Her in-progress fairy tale, post apocalypse novel was recently awarded honorable mention in the Diverse Writers/Worlds grant. You can follow her on Twitter @MargaretKWrites