Monday, July 03, 2006

Why I Cannot Be a Muslim

Of the five acts prescribed by the Prophet
for purity—plucking the hair from armpit,
clipping the moustache, slivering the nails,
shaving the pubes, removing the foreskin—

I have obeyed and performed only one
(my nails are short), another ritual act
being impossible since I keep my face
clean shaven to receive the kiss of sun,

so I must represent impurity,
hair and skin growing in disfavored places,
shedding apart from or against my will
on wash basins, enamelled baths, and bodies,

but I will still keep my fingernails short
for making love, the teeth’s ferocity
notwithstanding, for moving on the stretch
inside, without a puncture or a scratch,

and I will still shave my face every day,
no party to the Prophet’s clipped moustache
nor to his foes, the beardless polytheists,
still rave about earth’s sun-woven toupee.

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