AL-BAHR

I have seen death
look like me: bones sprawled
out somewhere between
hazel-coded grains along
the beach of the red
sea’s shore—a palm opened and
a palm closed— body thick as a fist
in waning rose-crimson tides.

still, I’ve never known
a law to rewind a bullet
or a bomb, to unwind
a spine too busy wrapped
around grief. and I am told
how we must learn to speak
with it’s tongue: too mired
        in the end.
do you read?
have you heard?

        I have seen it
all before: the still-growing husk
of mankind’s tomorrow
looks to make itself
a name. I watch men
who don’t—and do— look like me
print its face with my mothers’
graves. I’m incoherent

at this point, but I saw
a boy that could have become
me wash up on a shore.
along another, I watched all
the boys lose a match. I guess,
I’m not putting enough blame

on the child.
        Don’t get me
wrong. I’m just
wondering: can a boy
        find death, and not
        come bringing it
home to show everyone

what he’s found