A Panegyric for a Self, Hidden Within
I journeyed the trail of its being
like the oxidized imprint
of Nefertiti’s tapered headdress
flaring atop a copper plate.
A wide jellabiya and tight kufi
sheltered the bafflement of my body,
its siphoning an Arabic accent,
the rising intonation of a longing
translated to a melodic madness.
I arrived, believing the existence
would leap from a limestone’s surface
and ingurgitate me in a whirl
of humid sand tumbling from an apex,
or reorient me within the waters,
lucent under the Citadel,
until what emerged was a spirit
immersed in a secluded history
and a lone quest concluded.
I returned over the original route,
confronting the emblems of my steps
doused in the analogy of stallions,
forelocks hoarding the formula
of virtue, weather beaten and looted.
It was then that I visualized
the presence, interned inward
like a land of walled bondmen
hurling rubble at the blockade.
*Jellabiya-An Egyptian Garment *Kufi-A brimless, short, and rounded cap.
Inauguration Day, 2017
The wake was quick,
over the synthetic body,
probing its soil
as if an apocalyptic relic
stowing a copper crown,
a tabula ansata
stigmatized in censure.
We consume dinner rations
finely sharpening idioms
of a mended memoir,
its author, the remonstration
coiled in a concocted
reconstruction of records.
Consumed in a residual
our backs are turned
to the embodiment
unfolding out of itself
like the creases of a flag
shrieking in the wind,
its disputed truth resurrected.
Tamer Said Mostafa is an-always proud Stockton, California native whose work has appeared in nearly twenty various journals and magazines such as Confrontation, Monday Night Lit, and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change among others. As an Arab-American Muslim, he reflects on life through spirituality, an evolving commitment to social justice, and the music of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.