The Sky Falls in Bullets

by Farah Ghafoor

Farah Ghafoor’s work is published in Cream City Review, Room, Ninth Letter, Hobart, and elsewhere. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, as well as the Best New Poets and Best of the Net anthologies. Born in New York, she was raised in New Brunswick and Ontario, and currently studies accounting at the University of Toronto.

On March 15th 2019, a white supremacist shot 51 people in a terrorist attack during Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

I.

I left home and surrendered my body to the rain
My calves were realized wet in silly lakes
The sky pulled my face apart and received a smile
The day pulled no pain out of me

 

II.

a man walks into a mosque                                                               so only he can walk out
everybody else runs?                                                                            you laugh. you’re correct.
a man gives you                                                                                     a tutorial of the fps game.

 

III.

The water passed and returned thrice and then
somewhere in this room a man entered as we fell
in prayer to our knees The man entered as we fell
to our ends Blood laking beneath our hands

 

IV.

a man gives you                                                                                      a gun.
everybody else runs?                                                                            you laugh. you’re correct.
a man walks into a mosque                                                               so only he can walk out.

 

V.

bang-bang.

                bang-bang-bang-bang-            bang-bang- bang-bang-           bang-bang- bang-bang-

bang-bang- bang-bang-           bang-bang-bang-bang-           bang-bang-bang-bang-

            bang-bang-bang-bang-                        bang-bang-bang-bang-

                                         bang-bang-bang-bang-                                    bang-bang-bang-bang-

                                                                     bang-bang-bang-bang-

                                        bang-bang- you win!

 

VI.

My many bodies surrendered to the darkest cold
The air refused our lungs

 

VII.

how many kills?                                                                                      not enough but
congratulations.                                                                                      play again? click yes
you look like                                                                                             him.

 

VIII.

My heart fell into the lake
My hearts fell into the lake and were cleansed
and rivered to the end of the sky
I wanted to pull them out

 

IX.

you’ve watched every tutorial.                                                         you want nothing more than
to go viral. you gather                                                                         your guns. you know
your enemies.                                                                                          tomorrow is the day

 

X.

My hands were wet and shaking like a storm
The sky pulled apart fate and purified the pain

 

XI.

the game will love you.                                                                       you’ll have enough subscribers to win
every plaque: silver, gold,                                                                  copper. you’ll bite it
and lick it because you love                                                               love the taste of it.
the screen goes red,                                                                              now black.

 

XII.

Someone in the sky with wrinkled hands
summons all fifty-one hearts at once
and each is clayless and shadowless
and as still as air

 


Farah Ghafoor’s work is published in Cream City Review, Room, Ninth Letter, Hobart, and elsewhere. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, as well as the Best New Poets and Best of the Net anthologies. Born in New York, she was raised in New Brunswick and Ontario, and currently studies accounting at the University of Toronto.

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