Tarot Ekphrasis I: THE DEVIL

Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman


I squat over red sand and the River Styx
A throne cloaked in black

Yet I wonder of his angel’s wings
That perch on damned shoulder blades

Their white– gleaming make his minions glow
In the yellow of rotting teeth– hints of gangrene

Their hair a deeper red than hellfire
How do I sell a tainted soul?

The devil deals– but a vessel stained black with ichor?
I wonder if I am still human with bare feet on Hell-sand




Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman is a bi-racial Muslim writer, historian, poet, and artist. Her first book of poetry The Raven, The Bayou, & The Willow is forthcoming through FlowerSong Press Spring 2022. She is a Brooklyn Poets Fellow, a Rad(ical) Poetry Fellow, and a poet for the Houston Grand Opera & MFAH’s event “The Art of Intimacy.” Her work can be found in (Art) WORDPEACE and Mixed Magazine, (Fiction) Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, (Poetry) Boundless 2021: The Anthology of the Rio Grande River Valley International Poetry Festival, and others.