Omar Musa: “The Fear”
It was said,
And the people became afraid.
a dwarf in a petrified forest,
watching them dance the ancient dance —
there seemed joy in their terror,
& laughter, too.
People baked bullets into their bread.
They chopped up newspapers
& fried them
with sliced onions & sizzling steaks.
They stroked surveillance cameras
between their legs.
They treated TV screens like wells,
dipping buckets into them,
& offering them to neighbours.
At times it held the shape of mirrors & men,
the Fear spread across the waking earth
as if it were gas
& gas expands to fill
it is put in.
A man would not serve me at the supermarket.
A woman crossed the street to avoid me.
An anonymous email wished death upon me.
Listen to Omar Musa speak about the contagious nature of fear and why he wrote the poem.