I made her a bed with cushions and throws but she refused and slept in my bones. My skin, too tight for both my sighs and hers so she filled it with rot, making it home. ---Al-Mutanabbi, d. 965 CE She loves me till my body fades away. Kissing-with-fever paints my veins in smoke. My sickness is a mistress come to stay. Today are wind-dried stalks like copper hay; yesterday all the leaves were on the oak. She loves me till my body fades away. Caressing me with sweats, she starts to flay, then stabs with final poison, like a joke. My sickness is a mistress come to stay. Now I, her wasted victim—zealous prey, see-through with lust, I faintly start to choke. She loves me till my body fades away, then beds me with her fester-rot-decay, covering skin and bone just like a cloak. My sickness is a mistress come to stay. Yet I do feel worse when she doesn’t stay and takes from me her kindly fatal stroke. Please, love me till my body fades away. O sickness, be my mistress. Come to stay. Kevin Blankinship is a professor of Arabic at Brigham Young University. His essays and poetry have appeared in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Millions, Gingerbread House, Blue Unicorn, and more. Follow him on Twitter @AmericanMaghreb.