Three Peaks on Kilimanjaro
Once on the border between a dream and the Indian Ocean
my father had turned into a fish. I carried his bones in a pail.
The water was warm as a bath and blue as paint
but I would only go knee-deep.
My brother and his friend were riding giant mantas
through the surf, shouting and laughing. Already taller
than I would ever be.
Sunset kindled the glaciers on the three peaks of Kilimanjaro
to the briefest of glories. Twilight lasted seconds. Then
there were flies—no, beetles—
cold green specks of dancing fire.
Tiel Aisha Ansari is a Sufi warrior poet. Her work has been featured by Fault Lines Poetry, Windfall, KBOO and Prairie Home Companion among others. Her books include Knocking from Inside and High-Voltage Lines. She works as a data analyst for the Portland Public School district and is president emerita of the Oregon Poetry Association. Visit her online at knockingfrominside.blogspot.com .