Masters and Lovers

They say Scheherazade saved all women with storytelling
I can’t even save myself before sunrise

I feel like I’m down
there with him
pushing against
what hurts most

He shows me around his house
where a woman set herself on fire
and the walls remained unharmed

Here the ghosts slowly drag me
here the ashes mix with dust

with the smile of       a wolf-grandma
he pretends not to        hear her silence

“I thought you                 like it that way,”
he tells Scheherazade,       gives her children,

spreads across time,                 his specters in the world.

Copyright © 2023 by Mona Kareem. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 13, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.