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Veronica Golos | Vocabulary of Silence

Written By Hesham Alsabahi on Friday, 5 June 2015 | 05:59

Vocabulary of Silence

1
Love, what is your other name?
Who rides the red horse, the one that is smoke?
Who tramples the fields where words are tinder?

What makes us? I want it to be Love.

Come near
the naked man. A hood—over his head.  His hands—tied behind him.

How to utter it?
What word could open my jaw?

Tanks bullets drones air-strikes starvation sanctions
structural adjustment programming poisoned land
police truncheons torture harsh up collective
punishment cigarette burning water-boarding

My tongue splits.

2
From the Red Sea, from its salt water, in its warm shallow shoals,

…Behold!
Here are my good…dead
      rising!

They rise between river and river, between sword and sword.
They rise between the hour of song and the hour of work
 between the echo and its saying. They rise inside
 the cup-shaped hollow of pelvis—they rise and ripen and never grow old:

Mohammad  Omar  Jawad  Ali  Selma  Madia 
Fatima  Suhad  Hussein  Ahmed  Salam  Azad  
Aysha  Maysoon  Nuhad  Faisal  Raad  Zaid
Widad  Nuha  Haifaa  Amal  Kifah  Souad 
Fallujah  Ramadi  Diyala  Basra  Gaza

3
My day is a froth out of which the dead rise,
these particular dead, the ones who come every morning in the middle of prayer.

They cushion my knees and follow my hand movements.
They are residue in all that I drink.

I place my forehead to the floor. 
I fumble with the lyric, move my finger as a blind person

along its calligraphy. 
It is written: I am cause—and comfort.

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