Volume 28, Number 1

My Friend, the Prophet

The age of old-time prophets is gone,
only small-time prophets remain,
take my friend Alice who sings in nightclubs,
smoky rooms that sprout like mushrooms in Detroit.
She married young, but her newlywed was lost
to the city, his “Peace” sign smashed upon his head.
She belts “No Regrets,” a favorite
that makes me shiver.
Love was king, but for only a day, she croons.
Later, she might walk home with a friend,
kiss him goodnight with her tulip-mouth
that wilts with every dusk.
But no tears will be shed
There'll be no one to blame.

She writes music in the dark,
her ruptured ribs sealing themselves.
Life still goes on
Yes, even though love has gone.

Her heart has discovered villages of hurt,
and look at her:
She’s singing.

“No Regrets,” Edith Piaf.

—Nadia Ibrashi