The thrall of Scheherazade
is a hoop shaped of bitterest willow
stretched taut with sheep-gut webbing
that buoys a dozen or so ripe dangling gemstones
graced with dancing peacock feathers.
She doesn’t play the thrall like a lyre,
although there are those who would tell you otherwise.
No, her sleep alone serves as bait and enticement,
and she picks through the night’s catch of stories every morning,
throwing away the small, the unexpectant, the obtuse,
and keeping the sleek, the large, the inscrutable.
It’s not big, the thrall—its diameter no greater
than that of a zodiac thimble or a quasar balloon.
And how, you may ask, does a thrall so small
enrapture the sassy leviathan, the unwary behemoth,
the bellowing metaphor, the raging abstraction,
so hunted and wounded and vicious?
It’s simple, really.