Three Poems

-For the last male white rhino 
Today is new year in Antarctica,
so I found a rib bone in a bookshelf.

The death of Sudan surrounds us with a queer reflux.
I know this survival depends on how long

the body can keep everything green 
until it no longer resembles what grow on any tree.

there is no one to tell about the fallen stars,
and the gravity to cage out how bright

our eyes could have shone in the absence of the sun.
it snows outside and I wish we could 

make it across the Nile, this night.
because this vacuum is in need of a song.

I wonder if it’s a sign of your second coming,
I wonder if the wound is the map of Nile

before it shrinks within her own skeleton,  
even though her eye is the size of everything it sees.

(salar de uyuni)
i am not mourning today   
                      the sky has not set itself on fire.
i chopped my index finger  and that means i do not get to perform 
in funerals any time soon.  
there is a price tag when the sky becomes an exit wound,
& this in no way makes death enjoyable.
the sea dried up          & the fish bones are frozen 
beneath the crust of the salt layer.
i robe myself in al-miski perfumes 
even though I have stopped believing in miracles. 
i sit around a bonfire with my dead uncles 
the rays       distillate their memories back in my head.
i climb up the mountain before the fajr  
to shed all i have      that should have belonged in the soil.  
flamingoes happily flap their pinkish white plumages 
                                 over the salt flats.  
it is the love season here in Bolivia,         from the surface of the world biggest mirror,
i see myself touching the sky                  without flying.

Rain Maker
There is a girl dancing in the rain,
      her gown grew bigger with each twirl.
she was happy to have learned to fly without asking anyone
      about birds and the origin of spacecraft. 
the rain stopped when the first spade hits the soil,
      another was buried, before sunset.
this earth may never find voice for satisfaction. 
      each death was a step towards extinction.
toys arranged around the sides of a tub
      although no one is coming for a bath.
compost is all that will become of the bones and the memories
      hidden in the marrows, as with the cadmium and iron
that has become too heavy to be purged through her skin.
      this is about the girl in the rain, and her soft-red gown.
extinction is when it rains and there is no girl to dance in it
      or, the girl fears that the cloud may turn blue litmus to red.
this girl has lived in different cities, although in her previous life, 
     she had no name on her forehead, 
or it was wiped by the fire, or the gas or the bullets,
     before any of the water that surrounds the world
     before the ocean will be halved by the bulk of plastics,
I go fishing in the Nile, because it reminds me of my childhood, 
     and of the women that wore its waves around their waists.
The Nile is my grandmother coiled in a cradle,
     I do not know what song to sing, to remind her 
of how I was born with the weight of a baby elephant,
    when all along, I thought it was my dance that makes it rain.

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