Spine twists into pomegranate streets
 no words for deformed faces, desecrated
 bodies not yet covered in white.
 Hope drips from tips of fingers moulding home
              in the glitter of rooftop cries to god
              in a dua blown into jasmine wind
              in a bullet blasting inside a woman’s chest.
 Hope drips in battered limbs between
 batons, broken bones across
 broken earth. Home.

 On a stoop in Regent Park she looks
 across the street in a trance, trauma
 sliding down honey skin. Stories
 from back home cover like a black cloak,
 decades colourless. No shimmer in this exile.
 She remembers when bombs danced the sky
 how her almond hands smoothed her child’s hair
 how she shamed the sirens with song, sheltered her body
 in a cloud of cigarette, inhaling her own absence
 as she stares at nothing. Everything.

 Listen: A midnight poem from a rooftop. Over
 cries of Allah-o Akbar the night before,
 tainted pavement. Their cameras and words told
 the world to witness.

View Shadi Eskandani’s author profile.
TopArt by Gilbert Li and Lauren Wickware

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