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This Morning

by Khadija Sharife


listen, it just takes patience
and a witness
to break the will of a bastard
and wait, watch how
the pieces scatter
at their own pace
it was always going that way

listen, i keep my own
counsel, resilience
is a quiet matter resting here
in the fire, between
breathing out
and breathing in,
one step and another and another
until it dims
and ends,

under circling skies

listen, i’m trapped
in myself like a convict chanting
prayers as magic spells
compelled to fight, break me
so i don’t die a coward while you lay waste
to the world
without ever having to pull a trigger

what is freedom without the right to call it a murder,

listen, i got a vision and i don’t miss
the hits i take, my mission
is not happy or comfortable,
and i’m ready for war

and i think i can, dwell here
in the dark with you
break the back of a bastard
without a soul bearing witness
i don’t need an audience,
not anymore.