Iftar Ghazal for AA
by Elder Gideon
When I’m triggered by your temper, I remember
Your neighbors desperate to find where you’d been
buried alive in rubble. They lifted you like a bloody doll
With its head broken open. When I see your scar, I lean
Into you, the miracle you are living. The imam you will be
Are yet my student knocking afterschool outside my routine.
Your fasting shamed my fatigue and shifted my mind
To my heart. I helped correct your grammar of a scene
Of your diaspora from Iraq to America. Your older brother
Almost made it until Feds suspected him in between
Syria and Turkey. The FBI invaded your tenth birthday,
Took him from your arms through a torn door screen.
FBI vans swallowed him behind iron as you wailed away.
You were dashed again to the ground as a broken figurine.
From your own rubble, as for any refugee your age,
The test of jihad is inside, where Allah alone shall intervene.
To fight outside is to have already lost the fight inside.
You opened my heart to what Islam means.
I too regard you as family, as a son. In Ramadan,
you welcomed me, to break the fast at sunset, to convene
With the men of your mosque. Here I am a sojourner
in response to the Lord of the Universe, Rab el Alameen.
Alongside you I bow to the light of all prophets,
to the Most Gracious, the All-Merciful One. Amen in Amin.
About the Author
Elder Gideon holds an MFA in poetry, keeps a decades-long iconography practice, teaches high school English to underrepresented students, and is in discipleship learning the oral tradition of a Gnostic master, Tau Malachi, with whom he co-authored "Gnosis of Guadalupe" (EPS Press, 2017). Elder Gideon thrives in collaboration. He produced and performed his chapbook “Owl Songs” set to original music by Sean Wall. This is available on all music streaming services. Collaborating with Sean Wall, and Canadian filmmaker Bevan Klassen, Elder Gideon produced and narrated an experimental documentary “Dark Before Dawn,” which will debut with Woven Tale Press summer 2020. Elder Gideon is queer. He writes from a metaphysical urgency. These pieces come from “Aegis of Waves,” an intertextual weave of science, spirituality, and narratives his students of color have lived at the civilizational edge where too many youth stand.