Sky Orchards (or, The Hazards of Being A Fruit)
It is astonishing how many people risk dying
In order to see something new. Or to return
To memory and see if time has watered it into a sea
Monkey or whether there is still feeding to be done
Yet. I know we have done this since the beginning,
Braving oceans in canoe and deserts on camel back,
And probably perishing more often for far less.
Still it seems more natural to me—can a thing be
Less than natural, if it exists at all?—to die
On the ground or beneath a wave than to fall
From the sky. God do not mistake me for a fruit
Waiting to be borne to the earth on the wind.
I have sometimes lost myself in an orchard,
Sore among rows of sameness being picked at—
Something to be bitten, something seeded.
See the teeth marks on my neck, beloved?
Having known it once I want to know it again,
The fear of being consumed to the core.
I risk the past and future for the convenience
Of getting to or from somewhere. Sooner
Than my ancestors did, I risk life itself hoping
I will not be punished for dreaming a sweeter
Flesh into body, for betting the world against
gravity’s hunger and my own.
Omar Sakr is an Arab Australian poet whose work has been published in English, Spanish, and Arabic. His poems have appeared in Griffith Review, Overland, Wildness, Cosmonaut’s Avenue, Circulo de Poesia, and The Best Australian Poems 2016, among many others. His debut collection, These Wild Houses (2017), was recently shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Award.