I’d heard of the King of Wisdom & told Hoopoe Bird: “Why not?”

when I received the invitation. I ordered servants to follow with gold

and spices, flew into the night, soared over mountains–a fateful

trip among the stars to reach Yerushalayim, its famed temples.


An immense castle; floors shimmered like rivers in moonlight.

I lifted my gown, bared my legs, my long toes reaching. Solomon smiled

with full lips when he saw hair on my feet, asked if I was part Jinn,

a blend of human & fiery delights. He heard rumors that my mother

married a Jinn. I didn’t answer. This is private, I thought,

why should I share my secrets?

He asked if I worshiped the sun; everybody knows Sun is life.


I pitied Solomon, just a human, though he said he understood birds

& ants. I stayed for many days & nights, asked him to solve riddles.

He passed my tests, then dived between my legs. He was good & strong;

no wonder he had a thousand wives. I felt our love child developing.

Later, I returned to my kingdom. Love can only take you so far.










Art: Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, Tintoretto, 1545.