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Forty Thieves

Enjarred
in the cave of riches
with thirty-nine of my brothers,

it is
so silent within
the greasy clay container

I can
hear the rattle
of my own heart—a dull sound

to be
sure, especially
compared to the one I wait for—

a brief
spatter of pebbles
against the round rimmed side

of our
enclosures that
will chime like hail from Jannah

indicating
we forty thieves
may now unlid ourselves

and take
revenge upon
he who has helped himself

to our
coffers. But when
instead, the hand of an houri

appears
above, beckoning
me to rise, I realize I am dreaming.

Moreover,
that far from tasting
of milk and honey, her kisses

reek of
oil, burnt and brackish,
wafting from the heavy black kettle

of her mouth.
Struggling, as if some
djinn reluctant to answer a summons,

I thus
attempt to reclose the jar.
But Open sesame, she commands,

and none
of us, not even
the mountain, are able to disobey.


Robert Borski has been writing poetry since 2007 and has already amassed over 250 acceptances in such venues as Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Dreams & Nightmares, and Star*Line. His first collection of poetry, Blood Wallah (Dark Regions Press) has been published and will be followed shortly by Carpe Noctem (Eldritch Press). He lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.