Five poems, by Samar Habib

    Sydney Airport,

    November 1, 1991…

    Waiting at customs, thank fuck we’re here.
    By contrast the transit lounge in Beirut
    is full of assholes who love to fuck
    with a Palestinian refugee and his brown passport,
    even when he’s leaving their country
    doing just what they want.
    Conscience doesn’t grow on trees
    it grows in the dark
    when you’re waiting with little children,
    when you’re waiting to see
    if they will find you and kill you this time
    or not.

    *

    On the private thoughts

    of a Militant

    We operate on the theory that every one of them is a killer
    and we can’t see what’s inside a man’s heart
    So we’ll kill them all
    just to be safe

    *

    untitled…

    Every year they gather in the holy city
    and one of them recites passages
    from the holy text
    and does a little improvisation,
    the one I chanced was begging god,
    the god of this chosen people,
    to make them victorious over their enemies…
    he breaks down and cries mid stream,
    has god forsaken them?
    He never stops to ask why his prayers are always
    in the present tense and why god never answers them.

    *

    untitled…

    In the night the paper parapet rustles like leaves
    And the blue star of David on the cotton rag
    Motions like an eternal wave on an eternal sea

    The army marches past the mosque
    And defends the fluid borders at all human cost
    And any hope of learning the fiery lesson is lost
    When the thin line of wisdom spills into fear
    and is crossed.

    So many worshippers so copious a pile of lies
    And an invented history in all cases

    *

    untitled…

    The darkness within
    is a museum
    of carcasses

    displaced
    dislodged
    disembodied
    masculinity at the zenith
    and paragon of creation

    There for the infinite resource
    the moment you shut your eyes.
    Your eyelids are holographs
    canvassed by the madness

    A repressed musco-skeletal system
    itching to be used
    hauled back by conscience
    and the pride that you choose
    not to be like them
    not to invent the gun


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