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from the September 2005 issue

from “Identity”

You who will murder me, wait.
Look into my eyes
before you begin—or end—
It's the same for me.
It might be that you reconsider.
You, who are formed by remorse
whose breath is the issue of accident,
imbibing the world's desiccation,
wait a moment! Now, this may be enough:
to read the soft body
tortured by your wrath,
to look at the memories hidden in my eyes,
the moon's stories.

* * *

You, who will murder me, I have hidden
my identity in my eyes.
My last wish is
that we read together.
You are paid to be a murderer.
I am the victim.
It's of no consequence: we will read together
my innocent name.

* * *

I have no age.
I will not be the first poet
to wither
nor will I be the last victim.
My country's market has a constant thirst
quenched with my blood.
My eyes have the color of the moon.
I was one with this land before I was born
on a summer night.
My voice is like the neighing of horses.
My echo is of a woman killed for her love.
I have no other virtues—
an independence.

You, who shall murder me, know that I have hidden
my identity in my eyes.
You have been purchased to murder me.
I am your problem.

I have no age.
I am not the first farmer
to embrace the earth for the last time,
and wander it with red
nor am I the first worker
to become a martyr.
Should I be martyred,
my skin shall be made into a tent for those who flee
from the gates of old Dhu Yemen
to Jara.

* * *

My body shall not be used by those who will rise up,
nor by those that have left
them on their way home.
They swing their swords
and their swords become flags—
the horizon is filled with flags.
And you, you stand there alone
with your head bowed.
You, a hired killer.


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