—by Asnia Asim—

“I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey,”
Zubair, a 13 year-old Pakistani boy speaking to the United States Congress, October 2014

In sunlight vapors dissipate        the cloud

            opens blue unformed          the light here is not

like the light reflected by water        there is

            no opalescence to absorb prayer         the walls

of solar echo       a silence before the rupture

            undiluted by the sun   fear fathoms invisibility

wavelength for wavelength        the pigment

            changes intention        looks stranger to the eye

the beholder of beauty resents      her inborn

             blueness        predator’s silent field       a kiteless

wash          damage is not an optical illusion

             a blue lie is not white            but the sky plays

no part in bearing its color             who then

             to assail with the litany of loss?          the poet

painter or prophet         who to chide for not

             foreseeing                wrath of the blue dome?

how to repair verses broken           the mass

              erasure of blue joy?         how to pick from

debris a foregleam of grey?           a streak

               of red          suspended in the chance of storm