“Conflict”

The day that collapsed lungs,
Crashed into concrete,
And beating hearts met gun barrels.
They called it “conflict”,
I saw a nation haemorrhaging,
As a warrior whispered,
“Where will we find souls to carry the martyrs at sunset”
Into the crook of mother’s valley,
No tears reach her, just sweet blood,
Another war-torn rose had fallen,
Fractured petals that once floated  across lakes,
Wings carrying hope to ease the sorrow,
Had stopped,
The fluttering had paused.

So I wove tragedies,
They said did not belong to me,
Around my wrists.
Jewellery made of severed arteries,
Blood, seeped through my fingertips.
You could always taste it..
It is familiar,
To tongues that soften English,
With indigenous languages,
Born in “conflict”.
Tongues that caress,
The names of the dead,
Through the night,
So that they do not forget,
And when morning comes,
They know,
Nothing but resistance.

I envisaged life in the organs,
Scattered across the crimson earth,
There was nothing poetic about intestines,
Weaving the tale of war,
Across concrete,
Where freedom was mutilated,
Until bloodstained tragedies,
Lined her lungs.
But still with her last breath,
She choked on hope,
In the promise that read,
“Mother one day we will fill your veins with victory”

And with trembling hands,
I fell to the ground,
To make dua that his eyes,
Would know,
When to take me by the hand,
And whisper “Peace will come”
As we crossed lands mines in the moonlight,
‘Cus we would both have eyes,
That likened saffron to crimson rivers,
Not poetic landscapes,
To the bloodshot eyes of revolution,
And not romance over nun chai.
And he would tell me,
“One day a tyrant will set this poetry,
Alight,
And he will taste your laughter,
As it seeps through his armour,
For the first time.
Because,
Words do not die,
They cannot rape an idea,
Nor murder this verse.”

He would say,
“Poetry,
She has already,
Taken root,
In my heart.”

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