What Birds Sing of in Libya: after Ross Kemp.
In Brak, Surman, and places in Libya governed by water,
what breaks the night is mostly songs--the lilt,
the open pulse of thrushes warbling their cadence,
casting their burdens upon the waters; the sheer miracle
of Aves urging men to love again,
calling them to images craving tenderness:
Migrants, modern slaves, huddled on little boats,
crossing the Mediterranean--a grave wide enough
for the numbers--into the unknown, through the same routes
desert septs took while importing human commodities
into North Africa three centuries ago.
On tonight's playlist, there are moving birdsongs:
two for wishes that survive the desert but end in dinghies
ferrying favoured bunches to unnamed countries,
to likely death; some more for women,
hopeful housemaids, who have their Italy-bound dreams
diverted to desert brothels; or young men in captive,
crying, praying their ransom. The flock, unwavering,
dissecting the waters with their rhythm, preaching love
yet again, calling humanity to the loss of itself.