after arriving on the shores of Greece (alhamdullilah), Ayham
counts days in scraps of pain,
thinks his dream of becoming
a break dancer will come true in Denmark

he says Denmark as if it is holy white ceilings
and shades of blue, whispers it over a 2 hour whatsapp call
begging pray for me, pray for me before
his wi-fi connection cuts off. In class,

I write essays on inaugural violence and nativism,
talk about universal ideals of human rights and liberty as if they were somehow
not coded European white and I don’t tell Ayham
we read articles about Danish legislators that fight for tighter borders
that would rather return him to a house with shrapnel for ceilings,

to the Mediterranean Sea,
to death itself

just so they would no longer have to be involved. Ayham doesn’t see
a difference between moral politicians and political morals
thinks of the streets of Copenhagen, of the girl he loves, of mama’s hands
the last time she walks him under the Quran before sobbing
ma’elsalama habibi
the news both full and empty, they say

not every eruption of violence is worth our remembrance.