Where Will I Find America?

-ending with lines from Mahmoud Darwish


-for Deah, Yusor, & Razan


Where will I find America? A swollen graveyard

of shunned Carolina clay incites its crevice,

consents a repetition of impresses to the lamenting,

as if tapping wooden spiles into a sugar maple.

Their recitations will swing like a severed hinge

to summon covenant verses for your space

median                        withheld          to steal beginnings

from contempt and the breadth of othering.

There have been martyrs before,

a cinder’s desire flushed in a bedrock

where belonging is sung through shrapnel, a ballad

weaving the dankness of an orifice like kindled frankincense.

They will receive you across partitions

as lost relatives reframing a light rift,

as elders tracing a journey with cotton threads

and chants for those that come after

I am



and here

is here

and I

am I

and here

I am

and I

am here.



Tamer Said Mostafa is an-always proud Stockton, California native whose work has appeared in over twenty various journals and magazines such as Confrontation, Monday Night Lit, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change among others. As an Arab-American Muslim, he reflects on life through spirituality, an evolving commitment to social justice, and the music of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.








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