“The Branches Are Full and These Orchards Heavy” by Anis Mojgani

Anis Mojgani


gentlemen have you forgotten your god?

He weeps out loud
waiting for our dreams to grow like ears
while you are making ghosts out of people
making ghosts from your torah
your koran
your bibles

we have shaved our books down
swallowed them
so that the word of God
might flow through us
but the pages just sit in our bellies
speaking to us in dull murmurs as we sleep
we wonder what to do
make me understand
we wish to become one with our Lord
we hear the voices and think we know what they say
is the word of God
i hear this i heard this correctly
so we rise and try to translate this word
with the work
with the heart
we search the bed
through thighs
the blanket the leg the needle twist
fuck and the fuck you
curse of the moon
to find our Lord
and listen more proper-like
but our ears are too small
for our hearts to understand the humming of these sentences inside of us

we are trying to decipher the bang buck braille of Your silent throat Lord
but the voices grow and grow just as fuzzy
so we stand and go to the kitchen
and pick up knives to cut these voices out from inside
we stab ourselves
i must hear You
cutting the flap of our skins
the words twist on the floor of our homes
mixing their sounds with our blood
they drown
but it does not stop
i must hear you
we hear the same songs singing in the stomachs of others
so we grab more knives to cut those out
but there are more and more stomachs
—we need
bigger knives
we need soldiers tanks and missiles
but we still cannot make out the words
we need dead mothers
and children raped from searching
the hospitals are full and overflowing
from us trying to cut our God from our gut
with the blade the pipe
the fingernail twist of the drug
pushed and poked through the arm to the belly
to throw Him up
in the bang of the scream
we find our savior
the shell in the chamber
is a quiet plea to a distant God
asking for us to be remembered by Him
through the tire tread
through the smoke of the tank
the crunch of the skull
through the babies we bury beneath us
we empty their tiny limbs to see if a scrap of our Lord still lingered
somewhere inside there
we clutch throats pistols and palms in the same two handed clasp of prayer
staring into the mirror
we see crypts
fondling the marble of our hearts like they were mausoleums
we are ghosts hungry
for something bigger then what our mouths are kissing

let me see You
let me see You Lord
i have balanced in the middle of the question
black as my eye
beaten by Your hymn
i am holding still

go ahead
you gentle

men of God
you tender sinners

take your rifles
raise to my gut and fire on

hear the song more clearly
it does not sing what you wish it did

it is too big for us to see a letter of it
so do not even try

cut Him from me

i wish to drape His face with my kisses
and finally sleep softly

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007
Tribute to Slam Poetry


Anis Mojgani: “I have skinny arms and get cold easily. I have bad posture. I really like MF Doom. His rhymes are totally awesome to the max. I grew up in New Orleans. I have a BFA in comic books. Two months ago I watched my father try not to cry as he read about Baha’i martyrs dying in his home country of Iran. I wrote a poem about it. I like to write poems these days about people other than me. I like to write poems that illuminate the truths people hold in common. I like the myth of the poem, the ancient theater of its mythology. Right now I am writing a poetry book about a whale.” (website)

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