From the Same Essence

               People, be mindful of your Lord,
                    who created you from a single soul,
               and from it created its mate,
                    and from the pair of them spread countless
               men and women far and wide[.]
                              —Qur’an, 4:11

     Rough sex in the bottleneck
     of a bar’s back room, when love’s
a bitch passion is a virgin who weeps

with one eye open, tears flowing knowing
     in the morning her candle
is going to blow out, dawning on her

as pink fingers reach over to open
     opportunity’s window
     like a mismatch striking the


     side of doubt, she turns and looks
     out, her lover’s fears knowing
hers from inside, two souls riding the same

route, in the distance a poet with words
     fashioning a rope, throwing
hope to her, showing them both a prison

of short sentences is not so bad to live
     with, vultures with their vouchers
     cut through to use them both like


     coupons, lust’s ravenous fiends
     hungering for the status
of being cheap Muses, clouture pouring

out the room, demanding of readers that
     they drop some seed into this
prophecy before it’s consumed by its

own mediocrity, a song with no
     singers can’t make an impact
     or be dangerous, so let


     another’s cheap misery
     entertain you as we jump
though flaming hoops, doing what we can to

avoid you, remaining friends not possible
     when pain takes from memory
every last effort to cover up

evidence that we’re made from
     the same essence, two strains of
     the same divine affection.

1“[Sura] 4. Women (Al-Nisa’)”, [Verse] 1, in The Qur’an: A New Translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, published at New York by Oxford University Press in 2011; page 50.