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Answering the Demand to Renounce Mostafa


Do not assume my declarations are disingenuous,
that I have neglected the chronicle of records
and an epithet chosen for revelation.
This conviction inscribed in permanence
is existent, under the flaws of my practice,
the admission of failings skimming naked
like a wrinkled film of wax over a date’s skin.


My father’s emigration began with a stage name
accommodated to a Western spelling and motif,
a mold of typecast formulas guised in his shadow,
anticipating the first film of night to surrender,
prostrate in salutation to this                  our soil.


He was convulsed back to nativity, its wet heaviness,
the revival of deprivation, a fidelity for the familial.
They have not forsworn me, a memento of vicarious lore
natant through a cyclical undercurrent.


There are others, universalities favored to reasoning,
the enmity of absent names from the optics of impotence,
a “Miracle Baby” dependent on rubble turf.
His name is Mahmoud, our emblem for unanimity
serenading the hands that hold him      those of wounds.


I have been assumed access to this working microcosm,
my achromic skin a mute password to doorkeepers
deadened by an archival recognition of supremacy,
the progressive panic of a tempered power.
And I, with cryptic oriental vitals, will be revealed
testifying their sedated handwriting in ivory.

About the Author: Tamer Said Mostafa is an-always proud Stockton, California native whose work has appeared in nearly twenty various journals and magazines such as Confrontation, Monday Night Lit, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change among others. As an Arab-American Muslim, he reflects on life through spirituality, an evolving commitment to social justice, and the music of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.