NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 3 - Fall 2018 - Page 78

Peshmerga Cross-legged on a kilim patterned with one thousand tulips rendered in abstracts of amber with blue and blood rust tinges, and at the tips, the pine green of Kurdish hills, the girl peers out at her father, her eyes a peacock’s tail magnificent in defiance — a finality sits between them, not the compliance of his little Alal, his dlakam , his flower whose dark hair cascades to rival the Greater Zab’s bursts over rocks sharp spraying the air like butter hot from his wife’s churn, (which she’d grasp in an ardor never shown towards him). Alal knows her father’s selfish wish is to unhinge her resolve to course those mountains’ paths heavy rifles slung across her shoulders, bandoliers parted holding her breasts in a war-like brassiere eager for freedom to kill in fearless abandon, knows his resolve to keep her head covered, feet softly moving through breakfasts of goat cheese piled on flat bread with sweet black tea serving him silently throughout his old age. He sees how Alal stares at the spot between his eyes where his thick Anatolian brows join in a gentle handshake (which tickled her belly, stopped her tears as a child). Alal knows what her father fears, a daughter who will cradle cartridges instead of babies, “I want to go home and plant my onions! I am not a terrorist!” (Ukrainian protestor) Amid the cherry blossoms of early April, the farmer’s mouth trembled into a microphone on the Maidan, his face glazed by the barricades mounded like licorice gumdrops against the acrid smoke of protest and defiance. His words, wounds from Nationalist truncheons pelting down on his Ukrainian clogs melting a frozen war to Cold. He thought of his wife’s hands kneading kalach where the oven’s heat warmed his children’s toes, how his waiting onions needed to be buried head first into his ground, he felt his own head to make sure it was still there, above the embroidered vest his father had given him one Easter morning in an April far removed from now. The farmer wanted to smell dirt under his fingernails, touch his soil’s stories rather than try to dig himself out of anarchy’s bottomless hole but, the ground was frozen against him, as his spade broke only tufts of yellowed grass to remind him of his son’s unruly head of hair asleep on an ironed pillow case at home, his daughter’s careful breathing in her mother’s arms next to the warm oven of their peace while he stood his ground outside in the cold square alone with just enough to wet his feet. a daughter who has chosen the cold wind of the Zaryan as the only husband to stroke her neck during those long nights alone in the hills. The Onions of Terrorism