The New Alexandria

by Sonya Taaffe

I want this new Alexan­dria. I want to light these can­dles and chant across the divide of weeks while my neigh­bor on one side pours a lit­tle beer into a saucer for the red desert wind and the resin-black jack­al and on the oth­er mix­es hon­ey, wine, white bar­ley for the hon­ored lord below and his petal-pale wife. I want to put out salt and vio­lets for dead ances­tors on their yahrzeits. I want to guise in red rib­bons for the feast of vines. I want the sun on the thorns, mon­u­ments no dif­fer­ence of lan­guage can break, sev­en­ty angels with pea­cock-eyed wings. I want to be a palmer through tidal reeds and olive groves. I want to raise mass­es to nine nights hanged on the ash. I want saint’s days and skep­tics, quar­ter-years and lunar cal­en­dars, I want com­men­taries in a hun­dred dif­fer­ent hands. I want unimag­in­able syn­the­ses. I want small moss­es between the bricks, the lat­est angle of north­ern sun­light, some­one play­ing a clar­inet imper­fect­ly, out of sight. I want to sign a wed­ding con­tract with a name-seal. I want to be buried in the bel­lies of crows. I want each night to see the light­house blaz­ing until we find our dif­fer­ent ways home—I want to see it blaze anoth­er thou­sand years, the mil­len­ni­um final­ly, ordi­nar­i­ly come.

Sonya Taaffe has a con­firmed addic­tion to myth, folk­lore, and dead lan­guages. 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, Fan­ta­sy: The Best of the Year 2006, Best New Roman­tic Fan­ta­sy 2, and You Have Time for This: Con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can Short-Short Sto­ries. A respectable amount 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.


One Response to "The New Alexandria"

  • Oh yes. Yes, those are things to wish for, for sure.

    1 Asakiyume said this (April 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm)