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prongs into the nation

By Samah Serour Fadil
it’s never enough to simply exist as humans
lands get involved
between folds of skin & folds of a bill
it’s funny how money changes situations
twists straight roads ahead to fit lie into truth
should you write the plea
  to save a nation
have your rights forbidden
  by rule of law
offered up as a “solution”
  that sticks out prongs 
  & stabs cement
fresh slabs  
behind your back right at your neck
now you are stuck between the cold metal
the wall built keeps you out [keeps you in]
desert blooming through phosphorus gas
cleanses the soil of its indigenous hosts
through destruction above all else 
love to boast
launch hundreds of warheads
pillage & forage then
demand you atone
make amends & conjure a million miracles
thread the cosmos through a needle
sew the eye the hem of freedom
build the shapes of our nation’s dress
forget to live & live to forget
through it all truth laid bare
walls may be built only to crumble once again



NOTE: This poem is written in two columns. The poem can be read in multiple directions. Each column can be read vertically, beginning with the column on the left. Alternatively, each line of the poem can be read horizontally across the two columns.

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Listen as Samah Serour Fadil reads prongs into the nation.

Added: Tuesday, March 12, 2024  /  Used with permission. This poem first appeared in Mizna 23.2: the Black SWANA Takeover issue.
Samah Serour Fadil
Photo by A.G. WorX.

Samah Serour Fadil is an award-winning Afro-Palestinian writer, editor and translator who resides in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. Her words can be read in Guernica, FIYAH, Palestine Square, Skin Deep, Ebony Tomatoes Collective and more. She was a co-organizer and performer for Global Indigenous Solidarities: A Poetry Reading, coordinated by Yale University Art Gallery, and is on the selections panel for Mizna magazine and Center for Book Arts. Fadil served as content editor for the Black SWANA issue of Mizna, winner of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prize. Her poem "prongs into the nation" was selected as the winner of the Petty Propolis Deconflating Surveillance with Safety poetry contest. Her debut book of micro-poems light, dark, in-between is available for order. Scan or click on the QR code below to learn more. 

Black and white QR code which leads to a landing page for Samah's debut book of micro-poems.

Image Description: Samah Serour Fadil looks into the camera with a white backdrop behind her. She wears her long hair in braids, with a section pinned away from her face so that one braid drapes slightly above her eyebrow. Samah wears shimmering eye-makeup with small, sparkling green and yellow rhinestones around her eyes, a necklace with a small green charm, and a bespoke handmade shirt by cotton trendie.

Other poems by this author