The Art Of Learning To Whistle: Part I and II


I learned to whistle our bloody history through my teeth
Painted our folklore on the harsh canvas walls of caves
To remember the biographies of a continent
That screamed to the colonialist
This is the way we dance
These are our truths

Yes, every winter we ate clementines
And in the fall we picked the olives
Pressed the oil beneath our nails for nostalgia
Every spring we reaped the harvest
And every summer we sewed together
The seams of a stubborn sky
And bled,
Bled as you marched to conquer
The phantoms of our forefathers

But now,
I store your silence in the vastness of Arabia
Watching as it spills into the Sahara;
An emptiness migrating within an hourglass
Stemmed only by the waters of North African tides,
Where at least half my brown skin descended
Wandering through stretches of sands
And omniscient dunes that mark caravan trails;
Nothing but golden highways that disappear with the wind
And a soul, anchored by the weight of water, for a compass
Where all walks of life
Walk towards life
And their footsteps
Sink into the rustling earth
To become one with it;

Like Muslim prayer


Outrun this red Sun’s shadow
With the twinkling shards of glass
In the darkness
To guide you
Stars whose light
Forgot you
Amidst the ecliptic tides of reason
Far from men that we call fathers
And women that we call mothers
Far from mythologies
That we create of each other
And the synchronization of heart beats
With one another
Far from their armies
And their flags
And their pens
And their maps
And their love
For borders
In our vastness
Drawing lines in the sand
As we showed them our dances
And our truths

Tattooed on our wrists, the illustrations of our legends
Waiting to be told
Far from their wars
And their holocausts
Far from clumsy cities
Made of rust, and its people
Who breathe machines
And broken skylines at a time

When no one is watching them bleed

So let me whistle through my teeth
The songs of our dances
The chorus of our truths
And the verses of our poems
Let me whistle our constellations
And our histories
Through the copper of chipped teeth
Let me whistle
Through pursed lips; chapped and bloody
Let me whistle
Till I am tongue tied and blue in the face

Let me whistle
Till these words
Find a way
To conquer you



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