Marwa Helal


after Philip Metres “Final page of ‘abu ghraib arias’"from SAND OPERA

this silent crescendo a warped series of starts and stops like breath abrupt gulps of constellations somewhere on the other side of these words are heart chambers where they are gasping clenching clutching for air just air as we stare all we do is stare and stars stare back with eyes inverted as nout exits day exits night exits day have you seen ancient temples where confusion transforms into clarity doubts knowing feeling drawing shapes from punctuated forgetting diffusion is a healing through the slippery osmosis count sheets of music on music of music and wash their atomic weight wait i remember the pythagorean theorem is good for shortcuts so move to the next mark a reminder of how intelligent we are so intelligent it is frightening us not knowing how we know what we know that we know what theyre thinking and it paranoias us as verb is reaction on their faces these familiar faces in the punctuation of all things left unsaid there are bodies punctuated punctured souls in the punctuation tell me what is seeing without light country without military without america a guantanamo build a new relationship with cuba to the tune of gil scott-heron rapping about a new route to china what is vitality if a life is forced between brackets an ending of lyric so quote your ability to forget and contract a concentration connecting you thought id say camp to remind you of our humanity to compare this to holocaust put a halo on because we are holograms the holograrabs of abu ghrairabs at this point you should be concentrating like juice in a box flipping pages so grab a colon while youre at it a colon a colon separates thought there is always separation c r e a t i n g distance in d i s t a n c e there is leaving and in leaving there is change reflecting the function of punctuation connecting and separating indicating the signs youve been looking for in what has not yet been written so save it while you listen to the ones who need saving do you hear them they are a symphony arriving and you are singing in this chorus of complicit a choir not of church nor of ameen in collective prayer not of scratchy microphones at dawn or of the silence before we break fast it is their chorus when i can see music in a constellation that is your name is an aria so please join in this recitative and dont let go

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