‘The Queen Of Cups Meets The Fool.’ by Riham Adly

sc july 18

I. The Fizz—a memory.

In the heat of the ocean the dark fizz of uncertainty bubbles before it boils over the wayside of the Sea Wild. She sold seashells at the seashore. Those enacted fingers of yours knew the moment you pulled one that you’ll hear my voice. It’s a grey day when you look out from your condo’s window: silver peaks terrorizing the shore, one slap after another. You want to look for her, the girl who sells the seashells, but you only hear the song. The deep well inside you is as empty as the ocean is full. Your footfall leaves its mark— a memory.


II. Your Heart.

I can see you had large toes before the waves erased it all. In your lap still lies her song about the fluid disparage of sentimentality, to you it’s a lulling lullaby sung to a drowsy child by the sea.

A siren’s song is a desert’s mirage, like sighs you cannot see, like that tree that grows in the bottom of the ocean.  

You come (hitherto/ after) the Great Unwind, your heart reinstates then relocates, in the end it immigrates, no longer satisfied with its chambers.

Faulty room service, you say.

You can no longer breathe, you say.


III. I’m coming.

You call out for her and those shells on the tree. You know that once your fingers grab one, you’ll hear the voice of me.


IV. Seashells at the seashore.

We need not leave a trail, for the song remains, and she will always sell seashells at the seashore… for free.

Riham Adly worked as an associate editor in 101 words magazine and is currently a first reader/marketing coordinator in Vestal Review magazine.

She is also a creative writing instructor  with several short stories published in literary journals such Vestal Review, Page&Spine, Café lit, The Ekphrastic Review, For The Sonorous, Fictional Café, Paragraph Planet, Visual Verse with forthcoming stories in Connotation Press and Writing in a Woman’s Voice magazines.

Her story “The Darker Side of the Moon” won the MAKAN Award in 2013 and was published in an anthology by the same name. 

Riham lives with her family in Gizah, Egypt.


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