Burial in Rub’ al Khali

from Folklore 

Because she was a girl
he sought to bury her.
Under the open spaces

between the hurting spaces
where the moon hung fat.
The cut of light between hills

gleamed phosphorus over his brow
where the black bird
planted its black foot.

Sand hovered like a god.
His hands bled salt
as they pitched the bleak fire

from the earth, the pollen
of the world’s wasteland
dancing over a wasteland.

And all the while
the little girl brushed the sand-fall away.
As it fell sideways

over the darkening of his face.
As the father dug his daughter’s grave
she brushed the sand-fall away.

First published by Ink, Sweat and Tears 2015

©Helen Calcutt ’15