1.
 
 Always, they begin
as units of prayer
 
in sleep
watery images
 
then I wake
seeing them
 
crowded together
in a headline
 
Officers in Bronx Fire 41 Shots,
And an Unarmed Man Is Killed
 
this lacerated tongue
thirsts to remember
 
the names of all the faces
hidden behind the barrel of a gun
 
loaded blasted
into national memory
 
becoming caesuras.
 
Each name is
a body craving
wholeness.
 
 
2.
 
These eyes shutter
imagining
 
a different script
playing out behind their lids.
 
 
3.
 
When I wake tomorrow
Let there be a riot of birds
 
outside my window
Let there be crows
 
flying South in horseshoe formation
Let there be Peruvian musicians
 
with their wooden flutes
& African drummers
 
& children double-dutching
over liberated firehydrants
 
Let there be Nina Simone’s
“Mississippi Goddamn” remixed
 
Let these words serve
a different master/narrative
 
Let sound shoot outside this mouth
echoing in every
 
walk home
dark alley
(neighbor)hood
 
May this poem
lodge inside your breast.
 
Abdul Ali, “Holy” from Trouble Sleeping. Copyright © 2015 by Abdul Ali.  Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press.

Source: Trouble Sleeping(New Issues Press, 2015)

Abdul Ali

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