CAGE

HUSSAIN AHMED

 
After Kaveh Akbar
 
 
my heart fell out of the rib cage
as would a cockatoo
nauseated by the life in captivity
for the sins of a distant ancestor
my father would not take a bird as a birthday gift
because it made him feel like a warden
once, I learn to speak God’s language
and so I thought I can raise my own army
the wardens are also prisoners paid to hold guns
after the curfew, we all became accustomed
to silence, as though afraid of what tongue
we hold in our mouth
we began a new life, and the old did not end
ode to that part of our world, ode to the new
babies born with the smell of smoke
on the walls are stories of women
gathered around streetlights to make renditions
from the blares coming from the minarets
it would only be a miracle if there’s birth without blood
maybe when that happens, the new world would end
maybe it is right after all, to make space for where
the moon should have been, if you had looked
through heaven’s window, ensuring light spreads over our bodies.

 

 
 

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