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While Reading the News About Orlando, I Hear the Call to Prayer

Not metaphor, but outside
the window, the muezzin
calling from town, his voice faint
as a phantom arrived in the room.
How many times have I felt
shame at those words—Allahu
—felt it twist
like a knife inside me?
Once, lonely, I listened
for hours to recordings
of the adhan through
Macbook speakers,
wept and knew myself
in the presence of God.
My God, during this all holy
month, when I am so far
everything back home
seems like a dream, its violence
only a wakeable sleep—
where are you to refuse those
who call out to you, who undo
what you've made in your name?
I am not asleep and they are
not waking. Again there is blood
on the floor in your name
and there is no god
but you, so answer.

- Leila Chatti (from RATTLE)