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being osama

(first published in Awaaz, 2004)

A so-called celeb thinks it's cool to dress up
And make a joke to the crowd
About being hassled for his Bin Laden get-up.
They slap their knees and laugh
And order another pint
For the emcee of the night...
Cause that's what they're expected to do.

I buried my brother's borrowed clothes
In the garden, along with a note
Of apology from the police.
Clothes that still bore the neat holes
Where the bullets slammed into him,
The note still smudged with saline
And the words, 'mistaken identity'.

As an afterthought
I dropped in his death warrant:
His Pakistani passport
And a broken razor.



© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013