Each conversation begins with mourning, words of loss on your lips.
Grieving phrases hang suspended like an albatross on your lips.
Do you ever feel enslaved? Indentured to others in power?
I have seen you sleep, tears on your cheeks, name of your boss on
Victims are frightened, embarrassed, ask themselves if it’s their own
Outsiders echo that question. Silence is a cross on your lips.
They have made a suggestion to limit entry to non-Muslims.
But you cannot pick faith from your teeth, heretic floss on your lips.
Survival instructions are applied to our lives with a wide brush.
Layer after layer of silence, hard lacquer gloss on your lips.
Why should we wait for resurrection? One Love brings heaven here
A little light is enough. Smile creeps slowly like moss on your lips.
Bring your own kettle-drum, set it on fire, cooking up your own
Halima would dance to such salsa, hot pepper sauce on your lips.
Laura M Kaminski (Halima Ayuba) grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is the author of three full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks, most recently 19 GHAZAL STREET.
This poem, from 19 GHAZAL STREET, includes sher regarding some of the current disturbing political rhetoric in the US and elsewhere.