• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 07


Their complicity defeats the eunuch
who is waiting while they take the air;
wife number one can be sure
she’ll not be needed
(she is bleeding),
and wife number two
performed yesterday.
The master was satisfied;
she told a good tale.

They confer about the knife;
should wife number one slip it
into the fold of her sleeve,
or will wife number two
smuggle it back in her shoe,
risking discovery in the harem?
It is, they think, almost inevitable
that they won’t get away with it,
but it’s a good story to bequeath.