75-year-old Pakistani man killed by a white man with a machete in Birmingham two weeks ago. Barely any media coverage
Detectives appeal for witnesses after Mohammed Saleem, 75, was stabbed to death as he returned home from local mosqueBut no one is going to talk about this, are they
may the poor man rest in peace.
Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon
Before I Knew the Price
when i was five years old,
i preferred to be bare-assed naked.
because i was specifically told not to,
i stuck my finger in a light socket—
the hurt was unbearable.
the rest of my life has been a continuation
on those two themes.
when i was thirteen,
i rocked out to Janis Joplin and read Tom Robbins
and burned for a bigger life.
i wanted to be statuesque.
i wanted the gorgeous rage of a sunset
to remind someone of me.
i wanted to be Billie Holiday,
before i knew the price.
older now, i know that i will always be smaller
than my dreams. it is the rocket fuel to my endurance,
the purpose of my growth, so that my imagination
will always outstrip the capacity for its expression.
i am my own silver lining, working myself into gold.
i am twenty-two years old and in love
with this fire in my voice.
oh, Billie Billie, it is amazing how literally we mean
the word “heart.” when the world starts to get too vivid,
we begin to actually feel a tightening in our chests.
i feel it now just imagining a field of corn,
a liquor store, a Laundromat, all the collected
settlings of my memories. i bring them to mind
the way i was taught to, on a flickering film reel.
they come to life in the fashion of polaroids,
slowly becoming brighter, more detailed, until
they are solid ghosts, until they reproduce a moment –
sixteen and humming with LSD.
seventeen and trying for the first time to learn
how to leave a heart intact. each wrong word,
each graceless fuck a fact.
each year a lesson in humility.
but (say it with me) i refuse to be ashamed of my dumb ass.
i refuse to be ashamed of my courage,
giving me brass balls and wax wings
to escape this ocean of yesterday’s ash.
and should i ever forget myself,
all i have to do is close my eyes and hold them tight.
there it is – the flickering:
i am five years old,
sporting star-shaped sunglasses,
bare-assed naked on a swing set.
i am twenty-two,
and all this beauty hurts.
- Mindy Nettiffe