My father's silence I cannot brook. By now he must know I live and well.
My heart is nickel, unearthed and sent. We are a manmade catastrophe.
Unable to forgive, deeply mine this earthly light that swells sickly inside.
Like wind I drift westward and profane when the doors of ice slide open.
While he prays my father swallows the sickle moon, its bone sharp path spent.
Preyed upon by calendars of stone unbound the nickel of the mountain in streams.
Mine this awful empty night. Mine this unchiming bell, his unanswered prayers.
Mine the rain-filled sandals, the road out of town. Like a wind unbound this shining river mine.
Copyright © 2012 by Kazim Ali. Used with permission of the author.
Kazim Ali is the author of several poetry collections, including Inquisition (Wesleyan University Press, 2018), All One's Blue: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins India, 2015), and Sky Ward (Wesleyan University Press, 2013), winner of the 2014 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry.
Date Published: 2012-12-11
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/hymn