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the letter Z comes from Zayin which means weapons
By lisa minerva luxx


two thousand three hundred years after the letter Z was abolished,
I was drinking cappuccino at Rehab’s house.

telling her I’d heard my grandfather
was doctor to the King of Iraq.

al hakim al malak
I kept repeating
al hakim al malak


it wasn’t until she told me of her miscarriage,
gesturing to the unborn, that I realised
an angel is always one short vowel of being king.

With such illegitimate poetry, people like me
fail so gracefully at our native tongue.
In that no man’s land between languages,
where my grandfather still cleans the ears
of a sullen Gabriel.

Later, when I leave Rehab’s apartment
the border wars of language continue
as a livewire overhead catches heat.

A boy long since taken from his mother
stands down the street by my moped,
unsure of what he’s trying to remember
like a paranoid neighbour holding his cup to the wall
failing to decipher a thing.

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