NTU Creative Writing Competition
TIARA BINTE M HAMARIAN
Tonight I am a tired black-tailed gazelle resting in the middle of a sea of sangria silk woven by the calloused hands of women nomads of Isfahan. I press my ear onto this sea, and listen through baby fibers for the soft cracking of maternal knuckles and gentle whispers of entangled yarns. They sing me a Safavid hymn of love and conquests,
a song five centuries long, of the Shahs who ran their tongues across the mountainous rims of the northwest and hollow basins of the southeast, who pulled hard the weeds of Sufism and replanted neat new seeds of spirituality, whose intoxicated minds birthed poetry, who erected tall mosques laid with multi-coloured mosaic tiles and jewels of the East.
I press my palm onto the sea of sangria silk, only to feel gentle ripples crystalise into coarse brown grains, pricking the lines on my flesh. From the underside, an old caravan traveler fits his palm onto mine; a formal greeting. His face half-shrouded with olive linen, exposing only his vacant eyes that told me was lost. He tells me this is the Rig-e-Jenn, home to wandering
spirits and unending dunes. Heavy dews form on the petals of his eyes. My old caravan traveler is mourning, yearning, lone. I dig my fingers into the stubborn sand hoping to find his hands; but I am only a tired black-gazelle, and between us is a sea of sangria silk woven by the calloused hands of women nomads of Isfahan.