Stone Telling

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Shnirele, Perele

by Sonya Taaffe

Call it the year the Messiah comes
and she is a girl who rides
like the daughter of centaurs and Amazons
through a birch-gold Jerusalem.
Pomegranates bloom in the open streets
like graffiti, a burning feather
multiplies into an apple-garth of fire.
A small miracle fits in the hand like a stone.
A woman with a dybbuk singing in her
turns into a swallow, flickering over fields
that lie like sheet music beneath the blue-stepped sky;
wheels away into the world to come
where all tongues are mother,
all angels her sacred band.

Sonya Taafe has a tried and tested love of mythology and folklore. Poems and short stories of hers have won the Rhysling Award, been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award and the Dwarf Stars Award, and been reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, The Best of Not One of Us, and Trochu divné kusy 3, and a selection of her work can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object.

Photography: Modified from Luminescent Orchestrii, by Skip the Budgie.