Faisal Mohyuddin is the author of The Displaced Children of Displaced Children (forthcoming Spring 2018 from Eyewear Publishing) and The Riddle of Longing (Backbone Press, 2017). His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Missouri Review, Narrative, RHINO, Crab Orchard Review, and elsewhere. He teaches English at Highland Park High School in Illinois, serves as an educator adviser to Narrative 4, and lives with his family in Chicago.

Faisal Mohyuddin

Ghazal for the Lost

None of the unspeaking souls on this morning train knows where we are going.
Waking again to a washed-clean darkness, we prefer the frightening disquiet of mystery.

To bear witness to the disappearing bravery of the night's last remaining star
Is to walk alone through the hills without water, is to fill your mouth with mystery.

Inside each bird in the taxidermist's house, hidden between folds of crumpled paper —
The photograph of a child, bright eyes of a surrogate heart, their youthful mystery.

Why must every breath come at a cost? Each passing minute steal from us the color
And strength of our bodies? To live is to be a dying thing, all else is mystery.

Prayer directs our longing toward Mecca, keeps our foreheads anchored to the earth.
Each step is touched by language, but between prostrations: silence, and mystery.

When the rain begins to fall, sending shivers of joy through the dead desert air,
A sleeping dog lifts his head from the sand, watches the washing away of mystery.

As you arrive at your final destination, a village carved from a mountain's hip,
A castle at its center, drop your body, begin to climb, be no longer afraid of mystery.

Do you remember, Faisal, what the elders preached about forgetting? Centuries of grief
Had made them wise, taught them to seek the mercy and goodness of mystery.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.