He watches soundless television; 
mornings are late to catch his 
early waking. The prayers are 
offered in even silence of equal 
parts of night graduating into day. 
It isn't about listening, but reading 
lips to hear what voiceful words 
don't say. And his eyelids don't close 
over iris of light, so it's hard to know 
if he has walked through into 
his world. Once, a man throttled 
him in his dream and all he could
manage was a gasp weak as a tide 
under a low moon. As hard as it is 
for his fingers to roll counting 
beads as a way to swim forward, 
he has seen large flames lick walls 
of a masjid's circumference. He came
back home that day with camouflage 
clotting his veins, and his mouth 
moving to the rhythm of his eyes. 
He trods like the fin of fish; weight, 
measure of inversion. Nobody knows
he stopped hearing for years.

back to issue