Companions of the Cave

Gleaning his eighteenth sūra for grains
left by its prophecy’s purest reaper,
we sailed an ocean of ink, eager.

Casting stones at the unseen,
seeking the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus,
al-Raqīm greeted us with his teeth.

Searchers thirsting for the sweat
of the truth’s hearth, we slipped
to our knees, praying for humble access:

Let us enter the cavern, please!
Do not seal up our ears for another
number of years, let us hear you speak!

Columns of dawn falling through
pierced the cave’s roof; light dropped
on the left like a lip, on the right cut a tooth.

An opened mouth where silence
moved, swallows and nightingales chiding
fell mute, eyes biting us with beaded fluency.

Tasting our tears’ fertile vermouth, six saints
sobered the tomb sitting lucently pale; unaware
when, or where, one soul flew out, or to.