On faith

What star fixed you, whose fingernail
nicked the skin on your thigh so that

even clothed, you’d always feel
the scar burning? After the opening

prayers, the translator spoke
into the microphone: of the prophets

who themselves met their end,
though they’d hummed the name of Allah

every day of their lives. Marked
or unmarked, we don’t know how long

it will take before the vault
of heaven opens; if only

it were as easy as closing one’s eyes
and going to sleep. One day, the air

serifed with dragonfly wings; the next,
an unmarked page ready for scribing.

~ in memoriam, Imtiaz Habib

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