This week in the PEN Poetry Series, PEN America features a poem by Fatimah Asghar.

for mike brown
november 24th, 2014

last night i nightmared all my friends dead.
zippered in the roots of a tree trunk,

brown bodies revealed by morning light.
it is said the earth will swallow us home.

from our bodies sapling will grow, blades
of grass, small tulips that yawn to the open sky.

what are we to do then? in a world that doesn’t want
us? what more gift can i offer of my body but soil,

a humble field for our children to plant
whatever bulbs they hope to bloom?

it is said the earth will swallow us home.
i fold my knees to a brown god, even

if he exists only for me. Bismilla’ hirah maa
. take me home, where i can be a seed.

take me home, ameen.

Once a week, the PEN Poetry Series publishes work by emerging and established writers from coast to coast. Subscribe to the PEN Poetry Series mailing list and have poems delivered to your e-mail as soon as they are published (no spam, no news, just poems).