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sentry

Kyla Pasha


I have sent you, sentry,

to serve the door—the coming

tomorrow is nigh so

be on the lookout for suspicious

movement along the perimeter,


liveable life that speaks of God

to God,

breaks bread and makes light

in niches, aches with memories long

threaded into the veins.


Watch for it,


the coming storm, the new thing,

the other, the ending, the breaking

of everything to make it new.


Look out, new Noah, the water

rises up into the cloud

and shoots off

and away


—we are not meant for ought

but questions, ought but longing

unpinned from its object.

We are

not meant for stars.


Bury us here, now, and

bury us deep.


Pull fuel from our bones

tomorrow, I don't care.

My children and

their children are dead.


There’s

no looking out now.


Build it

or burn it,

bury it or blast off

into space with it and

wreck another timeline.


Nothing to see

but wake

and plume.


Brew us up another,

would you, sentry?

The cold is sneaking in.



From the River to the Sea by Sliman Mansour (oil on canvas, 2021)

 

Kyla Pasha is a Pakistani poet and academic working on ritual, gender, and livability in Islam. She is founder and managing editor of Chay Magazine and has served as contributing editor on GlobalComment. Her first book of poems, High Noon and the Body was published in 2010 by Yoda Press New Delhi, and she has co-editedTwo Loves: Faiz’s Letters from Jail, a volume of the prison letters of the Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, which was published in 2011 by Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore. She is currently working on her second collection of poems.




Sliman Mansour is one of the most distinguished and renowned artists in Palestine. His style embodies steadfastness in the face of a relentless military occupation. His work — which has come to symbolize the Palestinian national identity — has inspired generations of Palestinians and international artists and activists alike.


Sliman Mansour has showcased his artwork at national and international exhibitions, including: the Inaugural Exhibition, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris 1987; “Occupation and Resistance,” the Other Museum, New York 1990; the Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah 1995; “Seven Palestinian Artists,” Darat al Funun, Amman 1997; “Made in Palestine,” the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston 2003; “Art Palestine,” Meem Gallery, Dubai 2011; and “Abstraction and Calligraphy — Towards a Universal Language,’ Louvre Abu Dhabi in collaboration with Centre Pompidou, 2021. In 1998, Mansour received the Palestine Prize for the Visual Arts and the Grand Nile Prize At the Seventh Cairo Biennial. In 2019, he was awarded the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture for his role in highlighting Palestinian and Arab cultures internationally.


Read more about him at: www.slimanmansour.com or visit his Instagram: @sliman.mansour

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