• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 08
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The stranger speech

Dear readers, writers, do not mourn:
there is life after life; there are words to imagine.
There are tears, true, and worse, and worse —

the parting beneath the reaching tree,
the flight as fascism scores its course,
the safe passage for a certain fee,

democracy demoted to a farce,
a tip of the hat as Istanbul
again implodes, true to its curse,

and the Hungarian border boasts of its wall,
and more, and worse, and even if
I travel smartly and speak well

(spotted: one sporting handkerchief),
my status cannot *not* look fragile,
since dignity does not reside in cloth

that could secure some safety out of Hell —
a Kentish, not Turkish, detention centre —
and reunite all at the family table.

Yet do not mourn. In a dream may enter,
undetained, the appetite,
the striped flame, the smile, of a TIGER.

He slurps down all the tea in the pot,
he bolts biscuits, raids the fridge,
is both your guest and momentary pet.


The stranger speech

This could be dreamt in any language.
These could be children, women, men.
This is our common refuge.

Dear readers, writers, do not mourn:
there is life after life, and words to imagine.