THE NEW SENTIMENTALISTS

Kaleem Hawa

We used to build things, but now 

our daggers are out, steel flickering like eyes 

brimming with scorn, trained to maim the heart, 

sadness grimly contorted, smiles stained with teeth 

Our jackals are well-fed, the fabric of this place 

spent and unspooled, the tatters warming the wounded, 

irony spewed like poison, cloud of DDT, warm like a blanket, 

we close our eyes and sleep in its embrace 

We thought our voices could drown out the noise, 

when silence would do far better, when the wind could lift us, 

rock us abreast the sky, our faces ashen and desperate, 

struggling to remember, who held us last? 

Kaleem Hawa is a PhD candidate at Oxford University whose poetry has been published by various local and regional outlets, including The Poetry Society of New York, The Kindling, the Oxford Poetry Society, The Isis, and The Dudley Review.