THE SUPERIORITY OF MUD

Siham Karami

The sky kissed earth, attracted by her ferrous roots,
Their lightning-love igniting a fanfare of fruits. 

So here we are, our breath of God sunk deep in mud—
For all the bluster of our leaves, a pair of roots. 

We let our dreams go slack, our days slip through the cracks,
Yet from the compost of our laissez-faire grow roots. 

You made me out of fire, but made him out of mud.
A jealous Satan stripped us down to bare roots. 

What djinn could hold the calculus, graph sine or tangent, 
Or find the power of x or its square root?

We love our bodies' luscious touch of the divine,
A bond that hums in the voltaic hairs of roots. 

From mud comes wood and leaf, then pen and ink.
We trace the generations down through shared roots.

The alchemy of things begins inside the forge.
We are the dross, the engineers, the dare of roots. 

To heal the pains of physics in our blood and bones,
We harness ginseng, ginger, burdock, arrowroot. 

 

SIHAM KARAMI's poetry appears or will appear in The Comstock Review, Measure, Unsplendid, Möbius, String Poet, The Centrifugal Eye, Mezzo Cammin, Angle Poetry, Wordgathering, Loch Raven Review, Snakeskin, Raintown Review, The Lavender Review, Atavic Poetry, Innisfree Journal, and the anthology Irresistible Sonnets, among other places. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she was inspired to write ghazals by the work of Agha Shahid Ali and Roger Sedarat.