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Two Poems by Kazim Ali

February 28, 2012 by Reader's Connection

The Fortieth Day




“The Second Funeral” and “Evening Prayer” are from Kazim Ali’s collection The Fortieth Day (©2008) and are reprinted by permission of Boa Editions.








The Second Funeral

We will return in forty days and the seam
of the disturbed ground won’t be visible.

Death is a miracle I do not understand,
our life already split in half.

Five women across the street hold hands,
forbidden to enter the burial ground.

In forty days our prayers
will have evaporated into winter wind.

What will then stitch the earth closed?
A thread of five cousins, forbidden to cross

and the sixth who went to them,
warm earth in his hands.


Evening Prayer

To say the earth is not stable
is just another way of saying “I don´t know”

or “well, what do you know”


Light is blinding and physics fibs:
that you are being whipped

around the galaxy´s center
at 25 million miles a second

is purely ridiculous


But if it happens to be true
that space bends and the universe becomes you 

you will not mind


The sound of eternity you´ve been there
The end of time you´ve been there.



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