Ramadan Day 17 – when does the fast begin

when does the fast begin

for my father

*

when does the fast begin

the morning meal or after

fajr

if i sleep through the night

does it begin before I fall asleep

or later when I’m tired

*

lions do not sleep too sweet

even God has become hungry

in the face of too many rabbits

*

i don’t know time can’t read it

all the chocolate has melted

a lump up on the kitchen counter

*

to attempt words is to attempt truth

*

i had to stop writing: words are poison i’m full

iftar is so late through the night my stomach swollen

at seven I stuffed paper into my mouth and chewed

*

on your screen

there are too many emoticons

i’m taking this chance to tell you

*

in prospect park

paddle-boaters float one loop

the woman’s kayak gripped by seaweed

*

who is to say when the fast begins

you made Allah

even as She made you

*

my first-born i’ll call denali

great one

she’ll be a lake in canada

not a mountain in alaska

*

i say to you

who is to say when the fast begins

after the lake he passed

in front of me

a briefcase and shoe sounds

i was running

i had the ticket in my hand

i wanted to catch him

press it in his palm

*

what would he think of

how i’ve fasted these years

without him here to guide me

*

i’d like to say it began

with him the birth after all

but i rewrite the story

*

the stars have eyes

i fell when one blinked

my mother’s net of tears

*

the gift tonight is spinning

our remembrance to end

on a constellation

*

too tired to make sense

God enters the contest

submits poems and letters

*

i lean toward flowers

plucked ten years past

clutched tightly in my hand

it’s as if time slipped

knees skinned on the platform

i wish he’d come back

to take the ticket i would

unlock time’s gate its penchant

for tragedy to take a walk

to place their perfect fragrance

beside my father’s grave

***

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