The girl wearing a rose garland holding tulips between skinny fingers goes to sleep on a cold con- crete slab in the city square. It's night & here, we are calling on hope. But just what is hope when dawn breaks /& opens up her innocence to this sad world like the gutting of an arrowed pigeon? what is hope if not this fickle intuition this powerful longing? Home in a wartorn country is ________________ a. a museum of dry bones b. an orchestra of hollow mouths singing songs of hunger c. ash & coal & fire d. a land bearing craters like scars on a body pregnant with bombs e. the song within the belly of a broken-winged bird Today a man carried in his mouth the heavy song of his child's body —an elegy to the lighthouse & I, holding this image within my mind like an enigma voice broken pleas to rain as the panacea for this fire burning men into ash because tomorrow another child will wake up in the body of a ghost & this fire will burn another mouth into a dirge.
Timi Sanni is a writer, editor, and Muslim literature advocate. He is the Founding Editor of Iman Collective, a Muslim literary magazine. A NF2W poetry and fiction scholar. His work has appeared or is forthcoming at Palette Poetry, Down River Road, Drinking Gourd Magazine, Temz Review, X-R-A-Y Literary, and elsewhere. He is a reader for CRAFT and Liminal Transit Review and an editor at Kalopsia Literary. He is the winner of the SprinNG Poetry Contest and Fitrah Review Short Story Prize 2020. He was also nominated for the 2020 Young Writers and Creatives Award. Find him on twitter @timisanni.