Listen Ashraf

by qisasukhra

A poem by Youssef Rakha for Ashraf Fayadh. The original here.


Listen Ashraf


Ashraf Fayadh, I do believe

the explosion is about to

and would like to make clear

that the rain’s now making

swimming pools of houses

down the coast

Today, I saw a man hugging a fridge

half his legs underwater and

his wife was leaping

from one chandelier to another

like Tarzan’s woman


Your head, I believe,

is on your body now

and the bomb ticks second by second—

sure! five percent of the world cannot shoulder

all this stupidity


Now the explosion, Ashraf,

and I, had I been out of range of fragments

would have thought

the white cloaks


flapping at unseen things

Its bang

perhaps will make us into flying fish

and the buildings to bottles

of alcohol-free beer

foam spilling over as they clink


Your head, your head, Ashraf, and

the man bending with sword and

spectators shrubs of chalk and

the Great Rift itself

a kind of stage play

that the homeless on their pavement play

to scare the freeholders


Here, they say they are at war with terrorism


Ashraf, the explosion is

in my head, and

it is strange, I believe, that there is

genetic engineering

greenhouse effect

that there is

nuclear fission

and, too,

the man with half his legs



Water enough in the sky to drown the world

and no umbrellas at the coast