Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sahar's prose poem on war and home

Sahar is an Afghani-American who speaks in a prose-poem of war and desolations (h/t Wynn Walent):

Father jokes, your birth was a curse. I had ushered in the Soviet Invasion. The fabric is much longer than me, but it's true, too: as long as I've been alive, the single cord of war peals.

I know, too, the ease of reflecting from this position, this location, these years we watched through the screen. How, then, to say my heart is with you? And say it without taking anything from you? To say, no, I do not know either, I do not know either the way through, but surely, it cannot be this.

To say to my cousins there and who live in service, who are the youth, the next, the ones always inheriting. To say to the youth, to the artists, to the writers, to the journalists who die trying. Say yes in the dark.

To say to Mama Rahmat, who hoped with his entire life to see the day the flowers would return. To Shakila jan, who burned her body out of red despair. To Baxto jan, whose husband is forbidden from selling fruit. To Zaynab jan who measured time by the sound of rockets. To Shaima jan whose spirit is a broken mirror we snatched our reflection from.

Millions sent across the earth, beneath the earth, outside the Indian Consulate begging for a visa. May the ministers have fruit and polished shoes.

In 2005, landing home for the first time in 25 years, father kissed the ground.


Sahar Muradi is an Afghan-born, Florida-grown, NY-based writer and performer. She is co-editor, with Zohra Saed, of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, 2010). Sahar has an MPA in international development from New York University, a BA in creative writing from Hampshire College, and is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Brooklyn College.

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