A ​Fevered World Cup

So the desert sky​ ​would not welcome him,
a life threaded by the chains of a Kafala weaver.

Yet ​​a​ dusty​ cloud hung over him like a looming
threat of skylines​ ​sprawling the roads​ ​to stadiums

that blossomed from the beads of his sweat.​​
An outcast among ​tourists and ​fans, ​untouchable,​

as ​a leper that wears​​ shame like​ a ​jersey
from a keeper who lets in a barrage of goals.

​They​ passed​ ​by him,​ without a glance​,
their gaze focused on the digital billboard

splashing images of Messi and Jesus
juggling a ball in a say no to racism ad.

I passed by him too, clutching my copy
of Marx’s Capital, with a divider between

pages that warned of a laborer’s alienation.
A fevered World Cup in the theatre of the unwanted.

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