Ronnie Festok


We move like water:
a riptide of fragrant vagabonds
fallen fool to Earth’s promise
that the entropy succumbs
to apex – that the resolution awaits
those who pray for it. “If God
wills it.”

A severed goat head is enough
to remind me of home. This is the void,
there is the remnant: what once was
and what is to be is unknown.
Tea, also, is tepid at its outskirts.
Hasty tongue yields to chamomile sacrifice.
“If God wills it.”

The city, a comrade, will soon become the soul
of its citizens. I have been made
hollow to hear the syncopated echo
of organs. The reverb of life
shatters ether like bombs –
some sort of physiological
dissonance. “If God wills it.”

My hair is burgeoning
with flowers in Spring’s bloom:
the cherried hue of burning hearts
knows what a soul ablaze resembles.
This is the seed of a Syrian boy
buried – “If God wills it.”

Ronnie Festok is a Syrian-American who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. He is currently a sophomore at Emory University.

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