Nabra’s Moon

(For Nabra Hassanen)

It comes new, less clear
than the cymbals sculpted
from alloy, and the locusts
are tree-bound, bouncing
between ivy and honeysuckle
so eternity can migrate
like pendulums, quench the womb
of its hunger.

I ask America
why the water here is waxed
and the roots weeping
in a labyrinth that feeds off
the mirage of crescents.
O’ America. Where are the harvests
you’ve crowned? Where are the ghosts
relinquishing their skin to water?

History is often synthesized
to be a quiet chandelier,
a light erecting statues
and fountains for the spectacle
of memorial. But there is still
fire, the kind that splits land
even quarter-moons
will drop their plasma
to melt the embers.

And what about innocence?
What about the gibbous’ balsam
exiled to a wilderness
beyond thought? What about
the lore of amulets
inscribed with calligraphy
to decry the night
until sunrise reveals its sins?

There was her body here,
like a mooring buoy
tethered in chain link
and the soul was a boulder
embedded on shore
watching the retrieval.

How is she remembered?
A short hashtag
before a name
made of ash and waning
the wind can’t keep trending?
What if she bonded with olive trees
she commanded mountains
she shepherded gatherings with oil from her glass lamp?

This pond belongs to her now,
this is her body
of water, and America is shaming
the way a hijaab wraps pinnacles
around the young.
O’ America. Does this mean I can blame you
for creating baseball and its composite bats
with sweet spots that spew sensation to wounds?

This is her moon,
silhouetted with lilacs
to drag rapture through madness
one bough at a time.
It signals prayer.
It segregates the soul from body
like a drum carder.
It pulls her name out of the water.

Tamer Sa’id Mostafa (pronouns: he/him/his) is an-always proud Stockton, California native whose work has appeared in over twenty various journals and magazines such as Confrontation, Literary Orphans, and Zone 3 among others. As an Arab-American Muslim, he reflects on life through spirituality, an evolving commitment to social justice, and the music of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony Read other articles by Tamer.