Warm was the breeze, when they, towards me, dive
-ed a flock of Painted Buntings, all at once.
I watched, with taken breath, when they arrive
-ed back into the sky, a splendid performance.
How wonderful is their right to fly,
To leave, to seek, to experience, to find.
To no one they answer, on no one rely,
Nor by walls or ceilings are they confined.
Perhaps God gave us no wings, no right to fly,
Because we would leave each other, and find
The wrong laws of humanity to defy,
And disregard those of our own kind, behind.
And so the Painted Buntings soar ahead,
And I, my life, with sober people dread.
There’s no right way to begin this letter but I believe I owe you an apology. I’m sorry that I have not exactly been faithful to you. I apologize for deserting and rediscovering you whenever it seems most convenient to me. I truly hope you can forgive me.
Continue reading To my Iraqi Self
Our dream is daylight
our days are work.
We possess imagination,
and imagination is our hope.
And life fills us with promises,
of a light at the end of the tunnel.
It invites us to forget,
pain we lived.
We surrender to life, but no,
as long as hope is a journey,
so we will live.
Creeps through you as you dream
You prepare, plan.. but without realizing it you also
The burden will weigh your shoulders down
Your legs won’t carry you to the end
Will you collapse?
Will your aspirations come down and crush you
As if to say…
You knew you would fail all along.
In between the borders of your thoughts, there crept
Dot, dot dot
An ellipses that contains all which I cannot
It burns on the way down
Like lava it overflows
Out of me, through my tongue
My fingers feverishly seek
My lips, dry and trembling
Like the coastline at high tide
Elusive, as much as I try to be
Calmness eludes me
All which you can never
Yet you try to understand
Until you can’t
Dot… dot dot
Silence fills the dots
As it overflows
And drowns it out
Do you see?
Into that window
Onto which still crawls remnants of last night’s storm
Racing down towards the ground
Sunlight peeks in
Landing on four sleepy eyelids
A fire crackling nearby
Warming two bodies intertwined in a blissful knot
Do you feel me?
After you’ve ceased to ache me, and began to heal me
When I had a stone hard core, you crumbled me
And filled the void
My love for you now permeates my every pore
Invades my innards
Claims every breath of my being
Do you see us?
My dry lips begging to be touched
By the tips of your fingers
To be wetted by the liqueur of your kiss
Our two lungs, breathing each other’s air
Do you hear our two hearts, beating slowly
As we look out to a world that we’ve conquered
Mama and baba
At first I didn’t notice them or think too much
They’re just mama and baba
He’s just the one that comes home in the evening
She’s the one who makes me food and cleans me and tells me not to play in the mud.
They’re mama and baba
Continue reading Mama and baba
Why do we chase the light?
To trust only our sight
We watch the advance of night
And revel in our sweet dark delight
I never thought I’d one day know
the language that’s whispered under the sun
between the brightest buds, and above
the whitest clouds, which mentions only one
The one that came and invaded me
the one that seized every last defense I had
the one that set my untried heart free
imprisoned my mind within his jail, ironclad
Never did I anticipate how
I’d come to memorize the whispers of the sun
when speaking to me as she does now
her gentle burns remind me I have truly won
For though I’m aching within these walls
my hero with keys roams the outside halls
I cried tears, they fell one by one to my feet, until they reached my ankles. When they reached my ankles, I felt pain shoot up the back of my legs, travel up my spine, and infect my brain. The pain paralyzed all thought within me, and I cried.
When the tears reached my waist I lost whatever steady stance I had maintained. I began to sway back and forth, inching closer to death, closer to life, higher to elation, lower to depression. The salty sea had risen, to my shoulders, when my eyes began to dim at the peripherals. My breaths become shallow, the air more precious every passing second. My feet were out of sight by then. All I wanted was to escape. When the sea crept into my nose, I collapsed. I gave into the gentle pull of despair and plummeted to the depths, to the ground.
My eyes burned as I opened them within the sea of tears. My lungs were filled to the brim. Then, I became my tears, and I couldn’t cry anymore. That’s when I found the walls, and held on.