by Ali Shakir
Ushered by the wind
Rained upon vineyards
Brewed in darkness
And the stillness of time

Wine is born

You gave me fullness,
Color and scent
You gave meaning to my existence
Sire, the glass told the wine:
Your wish is my command

Together they swayed
Together they wept and prayed
Together they danced the dance of life
Until thirsty lips came
And put the two away

Wine is gone

Fullness no more

Grieve not empty glass!
There comes another hand
And more wine will be shed

A new story will emerge
Never the same
And yet, not entirely discrete
For each time
A cycle has to be complete

Ali Shakir is the author of A Muslim on the Bridge: On Being
an Iraqi-Arab Muslim in the Twenty-First Century (Signal 8
Press, 2013). A graduate of Baghdad University, he
co-founded L'Atelier Art Gallery in 1995 where he exhibited
his artwork along with the work of other young Iraqis. Since
leaving Iraq in 2006, he has published articles and essays in
newspapers and literary journals in the Arab world, England,
the United States and New Zealand, where he now lives.