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Crusade


And All That Remained Were the White Fingerprints on the Glass

A stool turns itself over 180 degrees, sunlight
and moonlight mixing in the shadows

underneath the sandy ground. As cotton turns to
roses, and then to indigo, you reminisce about the

blue-purple-red-purple scars in the backyard
of your dreams. Standing like a silent, lone,

abandoned sea shore, the city reminds you of
all the dust gurgling in your throat,

a quaint crusade waving through the crumbling pedestal
of the highest point of the highest mountain

in the deserted, snowy, rose-coloured town. The firangis
roam the streets like package clowns, wearing their victims proudly

on their chests, and marching on and on – towards deliverance, an absolute
surrender to oppression. You roam the streets that once smelled of dirty sewers,

and clean expensive jewels, and men of snot and sweat,
looking through your burqa vision, eyelashes coming together and coming apart.

Each eyelash falls over now, in a fashion so exquisite,
the whole town rises from the slumber, from the dog days of summer,

dust quivers, cracks, breathing life and breathing fire,
the sea shore transforms into the dead valley of snow,

and each corpse rises up, seduces you with octopus-like arms,
calling you out to the Holy Land, with each organ of yours

becoming the thorns of the primal, primary rose. Sitting in the classroom,
with the buttered marble floor peeling under your feet,

the teacher drones on, muttering and tripping on the textbook words
and suddenly, you wake up.

And the image of the bleeding, raw streets and mosques and churches
echoes through you, dancing like pearls on your fingers, each fibre

falling through the tesseract of perpetuity. As the bell rings and chimes,
the teacher walks away – soft, soft strides.

So, you walk away too,
and all that remains are the white fingerprints on the glass

which your hand gripped while the vision of the city soared
through your sense, smelling of roses.

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