KADDISH OF A MOURNING SON

You have not killed her.
Not the way you have murdered for honor
under the open lip of a wound
in the bleeding sun,
head caught in the noose
of a country’s ideals.

Desperate to escape
to leave the executioner’s mask on the front lines
you chew off tormenting memories
like a wolf who gnaws at its flesh
to wrench free
from the clamp of a snare.

Still, village women dance around the fire
legs like digging sticks
poke through the gauze of your dreams
flooding your mouth with the taste of warm lead
to punish you for their seedless wombs.

Praying over your mother’s thin body
her skin dappled and veined
hunched bones cradling old age
you throw earth on yourself.

Her soft dandelion hair
crumpled under the weight of a feverish night
shrouds the bare cool countenance of death.

This you cannot be blamed for.
Death always begins slow
with the birth of our children.

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