By J. Irshad
For Gaza, Kashmir, Burma, Iraq, Afghanistan.
It is not just the soul that is
speckled and spotted with
tiny, finite grains of anguish
ripped open by bullets tearing through
layers of protection and hope.
It is not just the mind that slowly
Seeping dark poison,
the color of a thousand dreams
broken into tiny shards of glass
Spread in every corner of the land like
A bulky, dense rib cage sits
in a hollow body.
The heart ready to jump out the mouth
Or squeeze, bleed, and force itself
through the spaces, into a body that has
lost sense of itself.
Sound flares its way to the mouth
burning away skin, vocal cords –
the power to even
Tennis-ball eyes dilate on backgrounds
of rippling heat and raining debris
Eye lids give up against terror that
can be seen.
Bones liquidate inside legs molding into
What use are frames and skeletons
when skin contracts and refuses
to stay still?
An entire body melts, collapses
Where is the earth quake?
Why does everything move?
What is being rooted in fear?
This – immobility?
The earth moves, always.
The earth quakes, always.
The body is rooted in fear