1001 Nights


The tales she weaves (oh good and happy king,
let me tell you a tale) of demons and far away kings—
shackles on her feet.
With each word she speaks (no words, sweet king,
could capture the wonder of this tale, though I shall try)
she is bound, ensnared in her web of words.
(A demon’s prisoner, a prince, trapped by enchantment) but
the prince is always freed, the demon always merciful.
Will she be freed?
Dawn breaks, the sun rises (rising from enchantment,
the prince indeed goes free).
But she is only as free as a songbird,
who must every night return to a cage (for a tale more wondrous than this,
oh good and happy king).

Paintings by Beshiki Turazashvili.