Ways of Looking (Emerging Writer’s Contest Winner: POETRY)

Issue #138
Winter 2018-19

Every prayer is a heron at first glance,

                  the marbled neck of someone


indistinguishable from this house.


Every figure      wildreed      unbelonged cursive

         is a morning’s mound of sugar.


This mosque is a wood

where I sit cross-legged,

                 alder straight.


     Where I mirror my mother’s

          twenty-year-ago askings.  


                       This mosque is a cut of apple—

I mistake each slice for a mouth


—I mistake the back of every head

for my father;


red gala, ambrosia, faces arranged into

holy sorrows.


He is here with cloves packed

into his wounds.


I am here because there are wounds

packed into my wounds.


                  In my language, every line is a fallen thing.


In my other language,