2 Poems | Amal Rana

the taste of freedom
(for my father, for all muslim fathers)

this morning a father sits in jail
I sit in the garden
this morning a father is put into solitary confinement
darkness his shroud before death
I lie back
bathe in the endlessness of blue skies
this morning a father is tortured with water
skin breaking over damaged bones from too much pressure
I turn on the garden hose
luxuriate in escaping sprays of coolness on sun-heated toes
water gold orange red tomatoes
this morning a father has tubes shoved down an already shredded throat
breakfast forced into a brown body
like tiny serrated blades catching on flesh not meant to be pulled from itself
I sit down to the first meal of the day
savour each bite of eggs
roti warmed in the oven with the taste of freedom
this morning I smile as hummingbirds land on the honeysuckle vine
a whirring of wings announcing beauty’s arrival
this morning a father wakes to a humming sound in the distance
before he can put down his cup of chai
he and his children are shredded out of existence by an american drone
tomorrow’s news will refer to them as militants
this morning a father is falsely accused
this morning a father is falsely accused
this morning a father is falsely accused
of being a terrorist
this morning a father is rightfully accused
of being brown and daring to be alive
of being muslim and daring to breathe
of being a father and daring to love
this morning a daughter is born
this morning a daughter is born
this morning a daughter is born
she balls her fist
she balls her little brown fingers into a fist
she raises it in the air unafraid
lets it fall open
and births
a revolution


lessons in decolonization from mother nature

you ask:
how would you describe the colour of the moon tonight?

I do not answer
because tonight
she is the colour of hunger
the yearning of a million dark diasporas
thirsting for nights like this
in motherlands too distant to embrace
but imprinted in our dna
with the double helix of memory and absence

to describe this most unending of sorrows
would bring the moon to her knees

Amal Rana is a Pakistani Poet, Performance Artist and Educator. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Adrienne: A Poetry Journal Of Queer Women, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, Your Voice Tastes Like Home: Immigrant Women Write, Plentitude Magazine and online on sites such as The Feminist Wire and Love Inshallah. In a time when even exhaling while being Muslim seems to have become a crime, she sees poetry as an act of sedition and collective resistance. Find out more about her work here: rosewaterpoet.com / twitter: @rosewaterpoet1 / instragram: @rosewaterpoet

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