a sky is a church
missing its roof
and teeth, Tigray
in need of
a dental plan to fix
the overbite of genocide
and so most survivors inherit
a lisp when they pray
palate cleanser of a war
point to the
people who are missing
their limbs
like this poem is missing a leg to stand on.

there aren’t enough strips of gauze for the length of
the Gaza strip
or to wrap a Congo Basin
even after this poem begged for a cease-fire
in Sudan
even after this Somali poem showed you its structure
its body–
in naked prose &
protest to
blood splattered like cherry blossoms
on pavement.
to women crossed in a fire whose blaze
they did not strike like
a match-box
in a ring
the oppressor is always the first to throw a punch
in a fight the oppressed never asked for.

but you are not on the same page as this poem
you are not familiar with the margins of blood
& hunger,
or the cries for femicide to end in Kenya
a paragraph of bodies
so sky becomes tear glass-stained
in a cathedral of conflict
everyone is gathered for mass or is it
mass destruction?

what is holy in this communion
of soldiers casting stones upon civilians?
since the last air strike
drilled a hole
in the atmosphere
every mouth
carries the offering of a prayer
but gods of War do not
practice benevolence
as religion.

still I stand in solidarity with this poem
as this poem stands in solidarity
with its poet.









Photo by Wendy Zhang on Unsplash