Not there yet

Much as I wish to write only poems
in which tall trees stand
for the lungs of the world and the moon
rises like a sigh in their branches,
I still sometimes dream
of being a serial killer. Tonight
I raped a faceless young woman
in a corrugated sewage tunnel,
disembowelled her and smeared
fistfuls of viscera and shit
over the tender breasts
of my trembling
accomplice, an act I filmed
and stored on a micro-SD card
soon discovered
by the IT guy sent to fix my work
computer, a silent man I hunted in the dark
playing fields of a secret NATO base,
awakening at four a.m.
just before the slaughter. To heal
the disappointment,
I watched YouTube videos
of Arab poets honouring
the bougainvillea, refusing,
in voices like mountains
of dark sugar,
to let their sons become soldiers.
Outside, the moon
coldly sings another body’s song
and the bare elms
continue, unperturbed,
their long slow exhalation
into spring.

Naomi Foyle

Naomi Foyle is an award-winning British-Canadian writer based in Brighton UK. Her publications include The Gaia Chronicles, a science fiction quartet set in a post-fossil fuel Mesopotamia, and the essay "Palestine and (Human) Nature" (Critical Muslim), about her 2016 visit to eco-projects in the West Bank and refugee camps in Lebanon. In 2017, she co-translated Wounds of the Cloud by Yasser Khanger (Jerusalem), and edited the bilingual anthology A Blade of Grass: New Palestinian Poetry (UK).  Seven of her poems, including "Post-Op" were translated into Arabic for her reading at the 2018 Babylon Festival for International Cultures and Arts (Babil, Iraq).

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