• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 09
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For Jo Cox

I would have let you see me
if only you had asked.

I would have looked into your soul
and listened; sama,
the Sufis call it, as they whirl
in whorls of dhikr, remembrance.

Remember me now that I am gone
far away into a muted land,
where my heart’s beats are unsteady
and my eyes are blind.

Something came for me before
I was ready. You came for me,
with knife and gun, the old
and the new; in case one failed,
the other would protect you.

You were scared of me, a girl
who packed toothpaste in summer
and mothered two babies
who know you now, who know
the face of hate



but long before they knew you
they knew the face of love,
of hope blossoming, of hearts
healing, and eyes seeing beyond

this breathless fabric you wrapped
around me.

At night you lie awake
and think of me; you cannot
forget my surprise – you thought
I would expect you

but you see, Friend, I thought
only the best of you.