Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Volver (Bride Price)

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

Volver (Bride Price)

Article excerpt

for Rabila Muska

I wanted to return the scent of late-

summer, avocados blackening on the branches

on the grass.

All that I love tonight-

the azure monarch laboring toward milkweed,

our lungs expanding in the rains

after running hills at sunset,

canary yellow of the eggs well fry come morning-

might be lost in the morning

if you look at the beauty of the world-

the teenage Afghan poet, girl who named herself

after a smile & called the only radio frequency

for women, for poetry, for a way out,

girl whose brothers beat her for disgracing them with poems,

with free will, girl who burned

herself in protest & sang her final poem

from the hospital, & sang her final poem

on the radio, & sang, before she died

I call. You're stone.

One day you'll look & find I'm gone-

but if you look at the ugliness of the world

(all that I love tonight, tonight might be lost)

you may find a kind of burning. …

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