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Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
When you are a slave,
bought and sold like livestock,
used and abused like any possession,
the anthem of your owner
is but a symbol of your suffering
When your fellow former-slaves,
who, on paper, were emancipated
are being lynched across the country,
the flag of your tormentors
is another reminder
of the terror you feel
in the land that is supposed to be
When, after years of struggle,
equality and civil rights are law;
some of those charged with enforcing the law
are killing you for no reason,
as if your life does not matter;
you have the right,
you earned the right,
to raise a clenched fist!
Those who fault you
have not tried to walk a mile in your shoes,
There is a Field
are a million years old.
does not know what to do with them.
They can get you in trouble.
If not careful,
they can get you in trouble, again!
A look of recognition.
Words igniting fires long dormant.
demanding a life of its own.
But that was hundreds, thousands
of lives ago.
Raindrop on tongue.
Scent of one gardenia.
Glimpse of smoldering ecstasies.
And the rules say:
Don’t you dare!
Do not upset the shaky balance.
Do not agitate minds that know nothing
of pure love.
Ah, pure love.
There is no other kind
for those who know…
Her ancestors carved an elegant city
in desert mountains.
Built a splendid empire.
Her beauty legendary.
A glimpse into her eyes is known
to rouse the flames of passion.
Like all women around the world,
her wings were clipped.
Creeds and traditions caged her.
She straddles past and future.
Chasm between them
a thousand years wide.
One side, safe and familiar.
The other, enticing and perplexing.
Internet a dazzling porthole!
Women seem to have embarked on
freedoms she could only imagine.
Choices include triviality.
She does not know how urgently
this aching world needs her.
How desperate its wait!
Sometimes all it takes
is one step to cross
a thousand years.
speak of meeting me.
who spent a lifetime
looking for you!
in orphaned horizon.
on lotus sea.
we may have met
“before the word before”.
What matters now
this gulf between us.
this image of you
Lahab Assef Al-Jundi’s poetry has appeared in collections such as In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets and Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Arab American Poetry, as well as many other anthologies and literary journals. His latest poetry collection, No Faith At All, was published by Pecan Grove Press.