Nighthawks

by Noon Salah Eldin

It was thirty minutes to midnight.

Harvest moon heavy in the quietening sky,

Blood orange whispers in the trees,

Sealed by the humming rhythm of the glass,

The bus engine playing jazz. 

 

You sat there facing me,

Sad-eyed, globed shoulders,

Wrists encircled with rosy cuts,

Blooming wild.

 

O, traveller,

No stranger than I,

Lost in the garden of Eden.

I wonder, what path led you here.

 

Two nighthawks, silent flyers,

Resting on a high voltage line,

Threading through a shred of truth.

 

Your cuts are beautiful.

Your bravery marks.

How did you earn them? 

A tribal initiation, I wonder.

 

Or are you Odysseus?

King of Ithaca, returning home.

 

I too got scars.

I made peace with mine,

Over a loaf of bread and wine.

Now, I wear them on my forehead,

Like rays of a sunny crown.

 

Here I am.

A gift from a foreign land.

With my book of truth, 

My torch of hope, right hand high.

Welcoming you to the new world,

Welcoming you home.

 

Will you look up now, or fall away?

Wing-bound into the ocean night.