It was a tale for disfigured women
for children unable to laugh.
A tale crashing in the glass garden
after centuries of patrol
centuries of silence
in Shehriyar’s palace.

It was the sobbing tale of a shattered woman
the bloody tale of a head severed
on the way to revolt…
And without a tear, in the glass garden,
the blackest owl
took its turn to stand guard.

Rachida Madani, a native of Morocco, has published several volumes of poetry in French, a language she taught for thirty years. She lives in Tangiers.
Marilyn Hacker is a poet, translator, and critic. For her work she has received a National Book Award, a PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, and a PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, among other prizes. She lives in Paris.