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

Kazim Ali
Gallery appears in The Far Mosque (Alice James Books, 2005).
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Kazim Ali
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse