Bloody Mourning

Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman


When the moon woke the sky broke open

Releasing rain of blood

The red covered the desert floor


She went to the oracle that lives among the caves

Of the prophet

“Oh, great seer what of this bloody morning?”


The soothsayer gave no words of comfort

But warning

The legend speaks of the red rain

                Of the men who come from fallen comets

Their weapons killing stars on their way down


They look for black gold in the sand

                They leave the bodies of her children to float down in a red haze onto the earth


When she slept the rain continued

                The men of the village below beat the sky with their questions held in closed fists

And thus the rain continues until all of her stars have fallen

                The sky an empty black abyss

                                                                The only light is that of the mother of tides

Her tears are clear

                                The water that falls cleanses the blooded sand in mourning.




Tamara Al-Qaisi-Coleman is a bi-racial Muslim writer, historian, poet, and artist. Her first book of poetry The Raven, The Bayou, & The Willow is forthcoming through FlowerSong Press Spring 2022. She is a Brooklyn Poets Fellow, a Rad(ical) Poetry Fellow, and a poet for the Houston Grand Opera & MFAH’s event “The Art of Intimacy.” Her work can be found in (Art) WORDPEACE and Mixed Magazine, (Fiction) Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, (Poetry) Boundless 2021: The Anthology of the Rio Grande River Valley International Poetry Festival, and others.