Making a Fist, a poem in memory of Jamal Khashoggi 1958-2018

A new work by Geraldine Mitchell

 Jamal Khashoggi. Photograph: Mohamed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

Jamal Khashoggi. Photograph: Mohamed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

 

i m Jamal Khashoggi 1958-2018

Fingers never looked so beautiful as mine,
flexing to support a plain black pen
poised to make the shapes required
to convey a sickened sense of horror
on learning how a man had all his digits
severed, was slowly done to death, dismembered
and disposed of god knows where.

Never have four fingers and a thumb appeared
so precious, no pen as strong as mine. I angle
the age-old weapon like a dart, watch as
black gloved ink flows down the page in measured
curlicues, tempered by the teamwork of my hand.
Until the work is done and ten frail fingers rest
helpless on the blackened page, like fists undone.

Geraldine Mitchell’s most recent collection is Mountains for Breakfast (Arlen House, 2017)