Your uncle has told you to leave this country.
Fight for yourself this place no longer worth youth.
You sit with him at a café.
Tea is poured brown.
Chairs against a wide window you both are silent.
Prison for protest ideals the kingdom where merit lifts.
The old king demanded lies truth only at night behind
bedroom doors the language of ecstasy.
A friend passes without seeing you.
He carries a box of pastries for a grandfather
who died that morning the ribbon curled choking fingers white.
You see him the baseball
cap the sneakers worn with running.
You say nothing.
Watch him walk into light round a corner
where drums beat from blown speakers.
What We Call Destroyed
It is the flash of egrets from dry reeds.
That destroyed land is the destruction
in us but destruction maybe too
harsh too imprecise for what this is.
For we are both destroyed saved.
Light does more than flash about us.
The breaking of gray among hill cedars.
The spilling of silver opaque wide
as what is unknown. But the wind
is there. Violent in its pursuit
to snap force most to crumble.
Blow the world into something worth
itself worth egrets exposing wings
wide their starry backs during day.
Land of reeds where shepherds
usher flocks. Where we are woven
warm alive. How the wind
twists reeds to hold itself baskets
of itself for someone to see notice.
This blue day exists for us all.
How life is known here only here.
Staring at sky near sea sunglasses
keeping glare minimal.
You are some version of Hendrix
on a beach in Essaouira.
The way you live bound
to philosophy spreading
yet feared. The way it seems
to retreat to a past stilted.
Conflicts needing to be re-resolved.
What is modernity when dogma
impels us to water
where anglerfish light
At the bottom everything like this.
But we will smoke in a room without
ventilation. We will hear the tapping
in a northern city. We will cough laugh
at the world opaque.
A great-grandparent from Damascus
who walked in a desert to Fes.
The sand consistently in throat
If he could what would this
relative say to you here? His judgment
of you here? You tall as a short oak.
You hungry relaxed in this rented room.
Rented to hide
the glory of height the induced
laughter the dulling
of brain cells dilapidated.
The world is a test.
When tempted what do you do?
There on sand women
laugh with us.
Their wet clothes never dry.
Nothing dry in dreams only
rain sea the constant
dripping of everything.
To turn from them is murder.
You see yourself in agony arrows
through skin the ribbons
they force into sea.
The haze is horizon the air itself.
Clarity is gone but was it ever there?
Yes to you yes. Your ideals your
philosophy passed onto you by your father.
What now? What after running?
The boy kicks the ball to his sister
on the steps of the church where
fruit skins rot. They both see
through glasses as their father warns
them to be gentle. The ball rolls to me
like a line of a poem when the window
is up the air of morning juniper.
I let the ball roll until their mouths
sag to one side.
How could he not play with us?
I kick as if Belhanda.
The ball spins between feet.
The boy laughs kicks his taller
sister runs around us sees grass.
The church a giant bell blemished.
Its ring turns her hands ears silver.
Her brother hits the ball with forehead.
A silver syllable about her neck.
Silver saliva on teeth.
Silver subverts her playing.
Silver slides from mouth.
Silver more somber now.
Silver moths shimmer.
Silver dust swats grass.
Silver slaps her brother’s head.
the sloping the sphere the surge
on silver land.
Silver coins without surrender.
Meany-meany who is mean?
Who wants it all to fall?
The crumbling in pupils dissent
to subdue integrity.
Who hears the chiming?