This night of mine is a black bride from the Zanj wearing necklaces of pearls. – Al-Ma‘arri
The Star of the East sings for the Prophet
while I release my song,
which rises from the deep.
Filthy snow is piled on the sidewalks,
and an elusive star of nativity
keeps leading the magi astray—victims
of their own hearts.
False star of nativity, I don’t want to believe
you’re a star of death.
I release my sighs from the deep
while the Star of the East still lifts
the glory of her voice to the Prophet.
But this night is not my own.
It’s not a black bride from the Zanj wearing necklaces of pearls.
This night of mine is a white bride, dead