There was Antigone, harsh in the soft light,
cutting into the belly of the world
like a knife. I had to do it, you know:
you think me hard, but that was nothing but
a certain brittle stiffness, an old man’s
rigidity. And she was iron, the bite
of an arrowhead, the edge of a spear.
One disposes of sharp things carefully.
The polis’s fragility could not stand
too much of her right. One defends the weak.
Your sister wasn’t. She didn’t want protection.
It was the world I was saving from her,
and sooner or later you too would have sought
defense against her contempt. Maybe you’d
never say it, but one day you too would need
someone to shield you from that perilous light.
Maya Chhabra is the author of the forthcoming novel Stranger on the Home Front (Jolly Fish Press). Her short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Podcastle, Daily Science Fiction, Cast of Wonders, and the anthologies 20,000 Leagues Remembered and Upon a Once Time. Her poetry has appeared in numerous venues, including Strange Horizons and two previous appearances in Liminality. She lives with her wife in New York City.