For Sohaila Hussein

Temple of Hathor, Denderah, Upper Egypt, March 2006

Temple of Hathor at DenderaHer arms were blue—first air, then water—
but more than an arc of bright stars.
We are joined in that morning.
It does not end with this ceiling,
in this vault of ideas,
but reaches forward
into desert, city,
and the quiet words of our shuttered rooms.

Copyright © 2008, Meg Smith

Image Credit: Troels Myrup, some rights reserved

Meg Smith is a writer, journalist, Oriental dancer and student of Arabic language and Middle Eastern culture living in Lowell, Mass.

Her writing has appeared in The Gothic Revue,, Lost In the Dark, Dreams of Decadence,, The End, The Café Review, The Bridge Review, Pudding, Tryst, and others. Her poem, "Huracán," received an honorable mention from St. Martin¹s Press Year¹s Best Fantasy And Horror. She has published a book of poetry, The First Fire. She is editor and publisher of Red Eft, an occasional journal of fantasy, horror and speculative literature, now online at She is a staff writer for Jareeda, a trade magazine of Middle Eastern dance, and associate editor of Middle Eastern Dance in New England. She welcomes e-mail at