Kazim Ali


You came to the desert, illiterate, spirit-ridden,

intending to starve


The sun hand of the violin carving through space

the endless landscape


Acres of ochre, the dust-blue sky,

or the strange young man beside you


peering into “The Man Who Taught William Blake

Painting in His Dreams”



You’re thinking: I am ready to be touched now, ready to be found

He’s thinking: How lost, how endless I feel this afternoon



When will you know:

all night: sounds


Violet’s brief engines

The violin’s empty stomach resonates



Music a scar unraveling in four strings

An army of hungry notes shiver down


You came to the desert intending to starve                so starve