Royal Blue by Benjamin Rose

أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّٰهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ ٱللَّٰهِ
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד
We were born to run

In my dream, it is always morning,
Wine-dark dawn breaking into rose
Against the grey of a high-rise skyline
And the leaden coiling scar of the highway.
The air is crisp with the death of darkness,
Sigh of Winter thawing into Spring,
The Spring in which we melt together
That neither need face the fire alone.
Kiss farewell to the lost, dear friend,
Before we see them again in Hell.
Let us forgive and forget our enemies,
For today is Shabbos, God’s holy Sabbath.
Midinváerne fades, but what will follow?
It does not matter. I do not know.
The Circle is Closed, the Serpent is Vanquished.
Ride with me, Rana. Ride on forever.

In this past of grave and sepulchre
Let us not weep for all we have lost.
All lights pass, and candles wither,
Whether in Raqqa or Yad Vashem.
From our past of grave and sepulchre
Jew and Gentile where each we bleed,
Let us soar far beyond Thames,
Far from the wounds of Indus and Ganges.
Let us leave our ruins behind us.
Ride with me, Rana. Ride on forever.

O azure resplendent tulwar maiden
Jacketed deep in Royal Blue,
Lead me, Londonstani Madonna
Roaring down the road to Paradise.
Weary ribs against your engine,
Waive in a last moulinet your sword
With glory and terror described in Urdu
Casting confusion on the whores’ sons.
Drown me in your well of calligraphy,
Drunk off perfume of obsidian hair.
There is you, my noor, or nothing.
Ride with me, Rana. Ride on forever.

Ride with me, Rana, bursting through April
And concrete vales of annihilation
Poised on the razor of Night and Day,
Tires rending the road in euphoria.
Ride with me through Frost and Fire,
Summer torrents, Terror and Hate,
Gas and gendarmes and rattling guns
Spitting their feckless fusillades of fear.
They shall not slow, they shall not stop us.
None shall reave our souls of the light.
Ride with me Rana, ride like Kaneda.
I will be Kei against your spine.

For though our jackets are crusted with carnage,
And our red hearts graffitied by sorrow,
Doubt, and torment till the end of our days,
I would die for you and no other.
Bind us in time, sublime and suspended;
We will not fail, we shall not falter.
We will rise, and together prevail,
Insha’allah, through Fire and Water.
Bear me, my lover, no heavy load,
Onwards to Dover and the Channel Sea.
Fast as a hurricane down the Queen’s Road,
Ride, dear heroine, forever with me.

Benjamin Rose is a Washington D.C. based poet and aspiring novelist whose work has also appeared in Beyond Words Literary Magazine. During the 2020 Covid Pandemic he completed his first full-length book, The Road of Glass.

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