for Nadia Anjuman, ‘Asma’ bint Marwan, Pat Lowther, Delmira Agustini, Ayat al-Ghermezi, Ayman Udas, Susana Chavez, Isabella Morra and all other poets and writers murdered by their husbands, their communities, their family and kin.
Her poems? I will never know them,
though they are the ones I most need.
— Jane Hirshfield, “The Poet”
We sit out in the dirt before the gates
of the kingdom of drudgery. We want
to get in. Believe me, there are worse fates
than soul-crushing work. The things that still haunt
me starved me. Now my body is wasted.
At least my body is still mine. Secrets
only bring me grief, like my arms, scalded
from the splattering cooking oil. Prophets
remind us of death and rebirth, as if.
Go read Nadia Anjuman’s poem,
“I wail.” Wail: she was killed for that. Dreaming
still kills; still grinds us down over a whiff
from where our poets hang. How to condemn
this? I want poetry that does something.