Rigorous
Inaugural Issue
Volume One, Issue 1


The Readying Spell

Jemshed Khan


1.
The man
with box cutters
slices the cockpit door.
Blood spills.

Captain
and wingman
fall to floor.

Bloodied hands
kamikaze
the Captain's stick.

The pilot
banks East to prey,
zeroing towards

what looms high
under Western sky.
He mumbles

medieval words,
remembers circling
a black cube:

A blaze
ignites the shrine
of his brain.

2.
And then: Dark forms
were burning under blue sky.
Our fabled towers

laid to rubble ―
heaped like cairns
upon our dead.

The ash of Holy War
billowed like a tempest
through our streets.

3.
We staggered back
to our long-swords
and sorcery:

We hafted
and flashed wicked edges ―
keen as shrapnel.

Drums beat
the readying spell.
We closed our prayer circle ―
summoned the Pentagon,

demanded
more boots across
the water.

4.
Now
missiles
fall like cudgels
from the sky.
Tank treads
embroider
dusty streets.
Their
hollow shrines
are blazing
and embers
bursting
as a dark age
wakes
to
wicked spell.


Jemshed Khan has published poems in Number One Magazine, Wittenberg Review of Literature and Arts, Pharaohs, Unlikely Stories (#BlackArtMatters September, 2016) and Read Local (2016). Khan's annotated poem "The Leech" has appeared in Vital Signs: The UCLA Collection of Physicians' Poetry. Khan is slated for publication in Clockwise Cat, Issue 36 (2017) and I-70 Review (September 2017).




Top of Page

Table of Contents




Visit our Facebook page

editors AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com
webmaster AT rigorous DASH mag DOT com