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“Don't let me sleep
It's the middle of the day
Wake me up. Wake me!”
—Bhupi Sherchan

In previous issues:

Wayne's translations from Nepal

poetry

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Wayne's work online:

photo-poems

flatLine witness

Siddhartha Art Gallery

Nepali times 01

Nepali Times 02

RE:AL

A-worldwide

Nepali Times 04

Nepali Times 03

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Email

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Contributor Notes



Wayne Amtzis Wayne Amtzis




photo poem


Testimony

How can she fend them off
and fend for herself?
What won't bend, breaks
Dagger-down eyes
nail shut. Secreted within,
a talisman, the only seed,
the hand won't touch
Where fist-broken stones
pile up, not even spit
to swallow, she drinks in
dust. Where justice, always
within reach, sluices its barbed
trail, each absent verdict
as searing as a stone
driven nail. Nail upon nail,
stunned and stilled,
stirrup-ed and straddled,
each stunted girl
stays stunted. Dissident
throats clogged with screams,
we know the witnessing
walls won't speak. Five?
She can't say. Put yourself
in her flip-flops. Six?
It's their territory. Yes, six
check-point eyes,
say One. Not a single one
saw or touched
this bride of unrelenting sun


Details

Culled youth…
Fierce dumb needs
seized upon
in jagged waves
Seeds burnt
to spite the husbanded land
Ropes loosened,
yet from the noosed trees
none climb down
Huts swarmed,
timbered lesions
pock the honeyed hills
Hands, once raised,
etch memory
in a fist. Scars
crisscrossed
through. Indelible
Brute paths,
where we met
and were to,
nameless streets,
where we hide,
run on… Collide
Vulnerable,
the cliff juts out
Down… down…
and still you strut
Shattered
spikes pivot the fall
Effigy clouds
taunt and trail
The acid in the details
burns. Beneath
a care less sky…
rock-strewn hamlets,
"corpse cobbled
poems
," tepid tea,
You say "I"
For each death
say "We."