To the people who came before us, who made themselves at home
‘in the tensions of these geographies so we might make our way beyond them’…
(~Natalie Diaz)
They say “western sydney”, what they mean is...
                                                                                 Sign this and two forms of ID
Gods loosened continents, now we are here / giving disappearance a name we cannot
pronounce / we cannot refuse / here where visiting hours are short / and security
guards edit present into permanent intermission / an endless exit and entry / I mean
an administrative tyranny / everyday a different kind of paperwork.
                                                                                Leave all your belongings outside
They leave Damascus / leave Baghdad / leave Quetta / obedience burns our mouths /
we have pledged allegiance to a silence only found in English / we enter all disrepair and
casket shells / we enter as concerned community / good-intentioned volunteers / no—I
mean as patrons of the panopticon / the violent spectacle.
                                                                                        Biryani is not on the list
We bring a box of Ahmad tea / packets of roasted pumpkin seeds / empire’s sunset
trespasses the sky / calling us to concrete prayer rug / calling us to reinvent time / I
mean to archive / and bless this forehead back in between razor wire / the Australian
way of forgetting / I mean the Australian way of living.

                                                                                 You are not allowed in anymore
Absent them with city / paint over it all / flatten them with border and policy / citizen
us / call us mistake on the evening news / this syntax corrodes our flesh / this sin against
where we discovered a home / I mean, ‘discovered’ a home / because home is a fable is
a ghost is a lie / home is an obscenity we cannot mourn / because home is not a home / I
mean, they own us, too.