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Anar Ali

Stone Town

a white, mangy kitten, back legs severed
drags herself across a narrow alley near Yussuf’s house
overwhelmed with pity, I ask, shouldn’t we do something?
hoping he will know where to take her, how to relieve her of her pain
a doctor, a healer, the ocean or a lake
there’s nothing for us to do, he says,
she’s still alive


under flattened African shadows,
the butcher took               everything
except her meaty body
left her eyes open
to bake under the scathing sun
each skin fold thick with defeat
deep craters filled with colonies of ants
instead of ivory tusks

Street Beach

sea turtles hatch, mis-
take city for horizon,
walk the wrong way