by Farrah Fray & Ahmed Drebika
This work appears in Khabar Keslan Issue 1. DISORIENT
I remember my brother used to climb onto the roof
Whenever the satellite wasn’t working
My mother would wait until she was completely sure
Afraid to waste his time
But he found it fun, loved to climb
Sometimes my cousins would hold the ladder for him,
Other times he liked feeling the wall against his skin
Her face would shift between laughter and horror as she watched
But he’d always make her laugh,
The way charming boys do
One day our neighbour’s son was hit by a stray bullet
He had climbed over the grapevines to watch a wedding
And my mother had a hard time saying that it would have been better if he fell
Or if there was no wedding at all
Or that no one picked fruits anyways,
But his mother still watered the grapes
And spoke about his eyes, which were the colour of dates
Under the sun,
Would answer every stray text
Or better still, joke with other women about death.
Farrah Fray (poem) is a writer, activist and poet studying in London by way of Libya. She has written for Kinguistics as well as Letters ly Libya and translated for Haawiyat, a Syrian comic aimed at refugees. Her work navigates explorations of culture, displacement, feminism and identity with a focus on Libya and London. Her latest poetry collection will be published in September 2017.
Ahmed Drebika (photo) is a multidisciplinary artist who has exhibited photographic, video, sound and installation work. Born in Tripoli, Libya and residing in Toronto, Canada, he often finds himself acting as a mediator between both cultures. He will be attending the Intermedia program at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec in 2017, and is currently developing a series of new media work that confronts Libya’s fragmented history and identity.