by Yasmine Rukia

This work appears in Khabar Keslan Issue 2. PASSAGE


we are the ISIS flag design 



black and white 


of our reflection



in the milky white water of my perspiration 

you can taste

the diasporic salt of my pores

seeping through broken drinking-glass 

as you swirl around 

sun and moon 




the fireworks break the silence of dusk 

and all I can imagine is shrapnel  

and my rabbit

my white rabbit 

caged under pine

with no branch to catch bullets

the sirens broke today



a dusty fez perched on mounted camel head

above blue eye that wards off evil

you grab the fez and scatter dust like farmers seed

you place the red dome a-top your head 

and swear you can fly home 

straight to heaven 



the women march in black

their cloaks catch wind 

and wave like flags

like my grandmother 

who waves from home

we cradled hands to heart

to gaping sky 

and recite

stolen flag design 



a record player scratches 

plumes of sweet smoke

the sound calls to the birds,

asfour, asfour,

my hands have seven fingers 

but they are enough to 

hold you 


white rabbit 



you win the lottery of random selection

with your beard and fez

seven fingers clutching 

blonde camel coat

and blue eye 

sticky with perspiration 

the milky way is brightest over Texas

we see the reflection of you

no branches to catch bullets

no flags to catch wind

no rabbits to take home

but a woman singing 

asfour, asfour

between black battalions

of white guards

on your way to heaven

Yasmine Rukia is a no-normal radical thinking muslim who dabbles in short stories. An Arabesque-American trying to explain the unexplainable, sometimes, always.