Best of the Net 2016  

Portrait with Asylum

& then two boys      from sunday arabic school              identical twins
beautiful boys   like the moon my mother said            dressed in matching
outfits long into our teenage years                both dead by twenty five

& all the mothers       in dc maryland Virginia       [crossed an ocean & thought it was enough to keep us safe]    cooked for days & packed into the emptied house       & later crowded around cups of sweet strong tea to trade theories gang violence    mugging       hate crime     islamophobia xenophobia    because they were too black       because they were not black enough            murder       mistaken identity       accident       though probably not both times            but all agreeing this would never have happened if we'd never come to this godless country each still haunted by the brother back home twenty years missing       the husband shot in the street       daughters whipped through thin cotton blouses but       back home this would never have happened                 not both       not both

- Safia Elhillo (from Sakura Review)