"The Infidels" by Rono Hem ('19)

Deep in the Swamp BY EKRAM ALROWMEIM

Deep in the Swamp BY EKRAM ALROWMEIM

The dawn is broken by
Prayers from mosques that ring through empty skies.
When lonely infidels, sprout.
With red tumors, trumped only by blue bruises
From having spilled a grain of rice,
In a home with many mothers and one father
And many siblings whom they bare on their hips.

Their skins melt onto the asphalt under the unforgiving sun
As they scour for crumbs and pocket change.

Even while coughing dust
They play, rolling old tires down waste heaps
Laden with straw hats, banana peels and broken whiskey bottles,
Glitters like fool’s gold buried in the damp dirt.
The waste sips the blood trickling from pierced the leaves
Of their bare feet, with which they must hurry
Into the empty night, carrying their father’s naked children
To sell withered roses.