by Sheikha A.
He watches soundless television;
mornings are late to catch his
early waking. The prayers are
offered in even silence of equal
parts of night graduating into day.
It isn't about listening, but reading
lips to hear what voiceful words
don't say. And his eyelids don't close
over iris of light, so it's hard to know
if he has walked through into
his world. Once, a man throttled
him in his dream and all he could
manage was a gasp weak as a tide
under a low moon. As hard as it is
for his fingers to roll counting
beads as a way to swim forward,
he has seen large flames lick walls
of a masjid's circumference. He came
back home that day with camouflage
clotting his veins, and his mouth
moving to the rhythm of his eyes.
He trods like the fin of fish; weight,
measure of inversion. Nobody knows
he stopped hearing for years.
* Previously published at Uppagus