For The Free Syrians Behind Bars Poem by Mohja Kahf

For The Free Syrians Behind Bars

You, shoulders hunched on cots in prison cells tonight,
you whose bodies are bound in rubber tires
or hung by meat hooks (for bludgeoning),
you who are dragged to torture tables by your hair,
to sit with vertebrae force-arched beyond their stresspoints,
may our love reach you tonight. May it come between
the truncheon and your jawbone, may it weaken
every jolt from cable taped to your flesh.
When interrogators finish with you for the night,
may you feel this balm we wipe on your skin: our love,
we anoint you with it. Our honor for you, our cherishing, let it come
quietly to your side, touch your forearm, succor you.
Here, take my pillow, if I could send it to you; anyway,
I've little use for it; I see your faces, and my eyelids open.
Hanadi, Yahya, Deya, Majd, Ziad, Ahmad, Malak, Omar, Ghassan,
Maan, Rafah, Hazem, Guevara, Amr, Marwa, Tareq, Anas, Juwan,
Shadi, Raji, Mohammad, Alaa, Moaz, Emad, Bilal, Ali, Talal, Amer, Zain,
Tal, Tahama, Osama, Yaqub Hanna Shamoun, Ahmad Thani Abazid,
and every other prisoner, especially those yet unnamed,
unlisted anywhere, snatched by dictatorship's police
without a word reaching family or neighbors,
without an online page to tell the story,
do not think you are alone. You are not alone in that stone cell.
We hear your voice, no matter how they muzzle your mouth;
You are free, no matter behind how many locks.
Do not think you are not powerful. You are powerful.
You are the muscle and sinew of truth flexing. Hold on,
my brothers, my sisters. You are whole humans among those
who have dwarfed their humanity. They are mutilated, limbs bent
into tasks of hatred, contorted, crooked, spent. You
throb with life and love. You are precious to us: that loopy grin,
your high-elbowed billiards shot, the thumbpad you lick
before you deal the cards for trumps, the cheeks
your children or parents kiss, the wholesomeness of organs
by which you had or may have children.
We are scrabbling with our hands
through barbed wire to get to you. Whisper to us,
even if you cannot move your lips. We hear you. Sip a little bit
every day of this love we pour for you, and may it be as sweet
as Ayn Fijeh water on your tongue. We would bring it in our hands for you.
Our hands clasp your hands, pulling. Hold on tight.

Mohja Kahf

Mohja Kahf

Syrian - American
Error Success