Friday, May 1, 2015

Syrian belly dancer
to Basher al-Assad

by Amir Darwish

UN. Fountain of blood. Ready.
The stage is set for you.
You appear
Men clap
Hips examined, re-examined again and again.

Belly-dancing costume not too revealing!
They shout.
You take off a layer
Then another and another,
Not yet nude, but you will be soon.

Up you jump, landing in the fountain of blood.
You splash the watching men,
Their tongues slide out, roaming over aces licking blood.
Unreachable spots lickable by others next to them.

They enjoy it.
‘Do it again, again,’ they chant.

Up you jump, landing more firmly.
Blood flies, reaching glasses, faces, food.
Glasses are emptied, food is eaten, faces are licked.
Loud clapping.

Jump, land, splash
Jump, land, splash
Jump, land, splash
There is no more blood left in the fountain.
But they still ask for more.

That Woman

by Sowmya Aaryanmenon

I saw a woman once
barefoot, very brown,
red ribbons in her hair.
Her back bent.
Hiding a handful of silver spoons
under her half-torn clothes.
A woman like that has no shame
she must have stolen it
from the house she worked.
Some days she clutches fresh roses
under her arms
red, red roses.
Sometimes, paper napkins
stuffed inside her blouse
drenched by the sweat flowing
between her heaving breasts.

And I wish I could be that woman.
If only I could carry love like that