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there’s no Kurdish translation or origin to the phrase, ‘no friends but the mountains,’

— Hajjar Baban

though I wouldn’t know if there was
a way to say                   someone wants
to keep us        still        without force
or, I don’t know father     why we can’t
see ourselves—they want us to romance
isolation, live on top & not learn
to ask for clearer air when taken
away, I try googling the phrase
              Kurds each other
nothing takes
              I thought I knew where I came
from but then I learned what the country
borders, to spell the land—a country is
a country but a city determines
how much it is yours
                                I’ve never heard
words in the language they’re speaking in my mind
I list the tenses of the verbs
but all that comes is a history
already made, someone
else decided on
though, if I search for the first man
telling my past what happens
when we ask what we want
what appears today is
someone telling me
              not to seek another, John & Harvey
wrote our tragedy, just one British guy forging
the story & for years I’ll repeat the phrase,
confirming what I fantasize from my father’s family
              enough mountains


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