“Read”: Baring Witness (2023)

Olive threes Graphic Myriam Ouzamani


At the sight of trees

How mothers broke to breed

Earthing dreams from rivers to seas


How a reverence gets set ablaze

Hatred taints

Your heart spins and land remembers


Our silence is complicit, hearts are faint

People game away at human dignity

Searching gratification in moral baselines 

Facts are not accounted for

Entire family trees bared witness

Baring the price


In the name of the birds in exodus

the beings displaced

Use your senses, Read

Swallow your pride and read beyond the lines


At every hemisphere your jugular vein works

for release

To return the gas you need 

inwards, gradually,

To return your weeps

Oxygenize your peace

Painting your deeds


To seek a gate


75 years of bad blood

Torture “cleansing”

In the name of liberty

“Most certainly one exceeds all bounds once they think they are self-sufficient 

Surely to your Rab you will return” (Qur’ān, 96:6-8)

Dear beloved, you were allowed to embody so little of this world’s vastness.

You are Seen.

Hold your heart as it beats.

Lift your chins, hold your key.

Feel the ground beneath your feet,

Speak and Read,

A simultaneous breath.

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 7, published November 28, 2023.