Mayhem Literary Journal is generously sponsored for 2019 by Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, The University of Waikato

Collateral - Nida Fiazi

their jet-fueled fists
shatter my grandfather’s brittle bones 
on his way to the mosque 
to pray for the daughter he lost 
on September 11

steel blades rip 
my father’s beard 
sever ties with 
generations of men
he is no longer 
the enemy   

my mother’s blood turns to ice 
as their claws 
tear at the scarf 
on her head   

white schoolchildren 
hurl insults like needles 
into the spines of brown kids 
Terrorist. 
Bin Laden’s granddaughter. 
Go back to where you came from.
notice the way they echo
the hatred of their parents

fabric whispers in protest
as it slips through unsteady fingers
male and female
Muslim and Sikh
fold their identities
place them in a wooden chest
at the back of the closet 

Deah and Yusor
foreheads touching 
eyes closed
lost within empty gazes
executed



shot
in their two-bed
stacked with unpacked boxes
by their white neighbour
who wanted to play God

headlines after terrorist attacks
if the perpetrator is white
Lone Wolf 
Disturbed 
Patriot
but
Violent 
Muslim 
Terrorist
if the perpetrator is brown 

you receive a letter in the mail
unassuming black ink on ivory
titled PUNISH A MUSLIM DAY 
they have hurt you
they have made your loved ones suffer 
what are you going to do about it? 
50 points to throw acid on a Muslim 
200 points to torture a Muslim
with electrocution
skinning
a rack

these are the victims of 9/11
attacked
first by terrorists
then by bigots 

2,996 people died on September 11 

hundreds
of thousands
have been paying for it since.

Contributor's Note

Nida is second-year student at the University of Waikato. She is a Muslim, Afghan and a former refugee who, as a bibliophile, strongly advocates for more representation of the aforementioned labels in literature. If no one else will do it, Nida is up for the challenge.

 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT