-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
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.