when singing is the same as breathing and loving
when we cannot sing without covering our faces
and the last free act left is hurting ourselves
and only fire can douse the pain of living in cages
what does poetry mean? how can it quicken in a breast
and transmute a spirit? call on the wild howling wind
to come and scour us bare, turn our songs to stone
to throw at the enemies within and without, to blind
us to the sheer drop as we walk on this ledge every day,
knees trembling, backs straight as we can stand.
and you know, we can only stand so much, before even
our voices choke on songs, fall to silence. we go hand
in hand and keep trying, and singing, and struggling to move
and maybe we can do it if we are allowed each other's love.
note: inspired by the article "Why Afghani Women Risk Death to Write Poetry" in the New York Times. I don't think much of this. Maybe I'll try it again in free verse someday. I just found the article really powerful and sad.