Ramsey Nasr, Poetry

THE SUBHUMAN AND HIS HABITAT
welcome to the land of milk and honey
where figalmondapricots grow
unmetaphorically on accommodating trees
eat of them and be my guest today
i’ll pay your taxi to the first roadblock

my father waits behind the second roadblock
he’ll make you his guest of honour too
with oil bread oregano sesame
stars press down upon his roof
sleep there and give him nadir’s love

the day to father is hard but essential
try to find a kid with a barrow
take donkeys or scramble on foot round the cliffs
follow the others keep telling yourself
now we are animals this is permissible

wheelchairs go bouncing through dust
back from the city where they cure the sick
diabetic with cancer in blazing sun
many old, many sick, many sweating animals
but that’s the whole idea

in the day we are sweating climbing animals
because that’s the whole idea
they beat and kick the animals to an end
that one day we will give milk and honey
one day manna will rain from human hands

if this seems insane to you habibi
just think that miles down the road
real girls and boys are sitting nervously
outside starbucks as an act of resistance
uproarious in fear of their lives

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