Creative Work Poetry


by Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman
“His wrists are cuffed against the bars of this prison beyond prisons
As if a man with brown skin cannot travel
without implications of terror”

Guantanamo is a sound that taps 
Against teeth
Leaving your throat dry

The interrogated was said to to be associated with Al Qaeda
As if a man of the east cannot travel without implications
Of terror He thinks of his family waiting for him 
Edmond Dantes sits at the edge of his cell and they count days in
the ticks made from rock on rock
A sound that once rattled his bones 
Now fills his stomach with hope

That is not his name on the list of terrorists pulled from a raid in Pakistan
He was seeking passage from Saudi to Afghanistan As if a man of the
‘savage’ cannot travel  without implications of terror

The hope of morning light shines in rectangular prisms on the stone-floor of his new home

It was not his number on this list and yet his body lays stiff from punishment
Of the millions who wear Cassio watches 
His wrists are cuffed against the bars of this prison beyond prisons
As if a man with brown skin cannot travel 
without implications of terror

Jihad is a word that floats 
In the air of government buildings
Like a shooter in wait of innocents 
What is revenge for a man wrongly accused by a government?

They talk about life beyond these walls
His mother who shows his photo around Port Jaddah And
watches Bahar Al-Ahmar for his body

He stands in orange 
“I died waiting for justice” his voice is one of many echoing across that Bay

About the Writer: Creator and former Editor of the award-winning magazine Shards through the University of Houston, Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman is a bi-racial Muslim writer and artist. She holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing and History. She is the Managing Editor of Defunkt Magazine. Her interests are Middle Eastern History, culture, linguistics, and biracial identity. She as a featured performer at The Museum of Fine Arts and Houston Grand Opera’s event “The Art of Intimacy” January 16, 2020. Her fiction, poetry, essays, interviews and translation publications can be found or are forthcoming in (Fiction) Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Scintilla Magazine, Paper Trains Journal, The Bayou Review: The Women’s Issue. (Essays, interviews, and translations) Glass Mountain, Volume 21, Dead Eyes  Literary Magazine Volume .01, and Defunkt Magazine. Her visual Artistry can be found or is forthcoming in Cosumnes River JournalSonder Midwest Review, Wordpeace Magazine, and The Blue Minaret. 

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