face masks

by Hanna Abi Akl


out there, we have reached

a general consensus:

we are re-learning

our humanity


receiving simple

directives to fight

a new war, a new menace


after the A-bomb

H-bomb, the oil invasion

our troops are at risk

only this time we’re all dragged

in this horrendous battle


i see men, women

wearing face masks, blue faces

swarming subways, public sets

unaware that we’ve all been

identical this whole time

pushed down by the same

threats, the same hegemony


poets locked inside

banging their heads on the wall

not finding the words

farmers’ heads buried

in their own backyards


america, although i

have never seen your face, you

gave us steinbeck, hemingway

bukowski, faulkner

but in exchange you took our

unity, our belonging

and that extends to

the current flagships

running our rivers


there will come a time

when this whole thing drops

like pellets in a snow globe

we shake in laughter

our unrest skinned bare

and drowned in simple pleasures⸻

makes us whole again.


Hanna Abi Akl writes contemporary poetry and prose. His writing style flows as an endless stream of consciousness, rarely if ever solidifying in rigid form. Some bits of his work have already materialized in novels and poetry books, while others remain hidden in the dark.


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