Tuesday, August 23, 2016

On Imran of Aleppo

Call me a fool
I most likely fit the bill
Though I will not call off
My search among the rubble
For a doll whose face and apparel
Are overly smeared
By dust settling only to rise
From the cloud and maddening din
Of orbiting debris in outer space,
Out of sheer human senselessness
All over, all around, and whichever ways the dust blows…
Son of my Mom
Wherever you care to tread is smithereens
And in the fashion of a weary trooper
You seek an angle, a corner
Of a floundering spandrel
And you lay your head
On a cracked keyboard or a pillow-like piece of brick
To take a break from the clamor of things
And in the midst of your snooze
Something itching inside your mind’s eye
Awakens you
Your instincts speak to you
“Go inspect the fresh fragments which just populated your corner
And comb the litter for your doll”
-Some pursuit with which to kill pain -
To fool yourself into thinking this nonsense will stop and that you can actually breathe into the womb of your doll so she starts strolling with you amid the shrapnel miraculously metastasizing into petals, pollen-carrying bees, and hum-drum green streets with kids walking back home from school and street vendors singing the praises of their shawarmas and Kamaruddin drinks and sundry other formerly uncelebrated little happenings and the little tender life in your palm waving her hand to another across the street amid the honking of cars by folks honoring the hustle and bustle of their lives,
And if you’re lucky
You’ll wake up for the fifth year in a row
With a slab on your chest
Dust in your nostrils
And blood gushing out of a vein under your knee
And a piece of smoldering concrete
Laying squarely on your camera
And your little baby doll
In her eternal sleep
And in the havoc being wreaked, they manage to stitch your limb, press your shirt around the bloody thing, and dust off your eyes so you can continue, against all odds, to inspect the wreckage for your living baby doll.

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