Poetry & Democracy
Even the apocalypse sounds better
when I imagine it with friends
over pancakes and eggs, saying yes please
to the waitress who pours another cup
of coffee as we ponder powers we'll possess
when street signs lacquer in ash,
skylines sink to a heap of leaves,
salt swallows tunnel after tunnel.
Thank goodness Suha will breathe
underwater, ferrying elders, stray cats
to the make-shift shelter where
Shirin will welcome newcomers
with a clean pillow case and flask
of ginger tea not far from
Viju's clinic in a broken-down Astro mini-van
where she'll heal fractured ribs
with eucalyptus and lavender while
Faria keeps watch from peaks of conifers
ready to fling knives, sling shot fireballs
to fend off nazis, neo nazis, what a world
we'll create as the world is dying.
Hala will climb six-story brick walls,
break into deserted apartments to gather
what so many of us left behind – love
letters, nail clippers, jars of honey, which
Meghna will catalogue in archives of diaries,
math proofs, polaroid's of Sundays on the beach.
So what if we'll be blue and beat?
Serena will chronicle stories of beheaded trees as
Sandra stiches tattered books
for the underground library because
we'll need to keep reading, won't we,
even as we're dying? Marwa will write poems
on the bottom of stones as
Nitika sculpts prayers from tar and glass,
and look, over there, is that
Vega crocheting hats from dead weeds next to
Mala strumming barbed wire in melody?
Some days we'll be so lost, which way is South?
Amir will point to the secret map
on the soles of our feet, and as we cross corridors
of smoke, we'll hear messengers on foot,
Param and Udi running mile upon mile,
bunker to bunker with news
of those we thought we lost – alive,
building rooms from twigs and aluminium cans,
rooms that can hold us all,
lit with lanterns, pinned with windows,
where some nights, if we're still enough,
we might hear the counsel of rain.
All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
More Poetry & Democracy
Poetry and Democracy
Over the course of the history of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, many writers have had files created in their name for many reasons, ranging from suspicion of being a Communist and having "anti-US sentiment" (Larry Neal); of being an anti-Vietnam protester (Susan Sontag); for publicly deciding to write a book about the FBI (James Baldwin); and supporting Black writers and entrepreneurship (J. Edgar Hoover's investigation of Black bookstores). Who determines if this small essay is flaggable for investigation, and how could said investigation possibly secure safety if it simultaneously finds suspicious an execution of the first amendment?Read Article