Orison for the Dead at Deir ez-Zor

We break breath. We sip small drips of air
and try to remember what a broken ray
of sunlight felt like, an amber ash of hair
across my forehead, a glitter of daylight
between my lashes—this is when I see

God. Do you remember what light felt like
before the war? I wonder if today would be

as radiant. Sometimes when I look
at the sun and squint my eyes, I see
a cross. God shines in anything
if you look hard enough. I don’t care

if it’s God, or Allah, or the Cosmos,
whatever you name to believe in—
as long as it is good, this home
of being that lusters.


by Madison Semarjian


Madison Semarjian is a writer living in Boston. Her work can be read in Snapdragon, Stylus, The Laughing Medusa, and Cleveland Magazine.


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