An ode to a lost girl and a lost country, both of whom I know will one day find their peace.
Willower, widower, dreamer of dreams,
Weeper and waterer, filler of streams,
Will rose blossoms grow from the earth where you’ve been,
Jasmine flowers white, scented, and Damascene?
Walk our streets, a stranger now you are,
Walls that make even dwellers not at home,
Carrying and crumbling you into palms that scar,
Littering streets with mem’ry of home.
And how I wanted to be that hand that held,
Gently curling fingers over,
Folding love on gentle flowers,
Dying in that gentle hold.
So pardon me, for none had spoken,
To me of truths that love to lie,
The words, that flowers only open,
When they are just about to die.
Do old, dead cities, still bury you,
Grim gardens in a once-happy town?
Will old, dead places, still carry you,
When I’ll need one to help me down?
These wars have a way around humanity,
They’ve torn my walls beyond my pace,
And I am a warzone beyond my sanity,
To lay you even inside me, I have no place.
And if you ever come to visit, you should know,
That my rooms are full of coffee stains on wooden floors,
Covered with pages of torn books and scores,
Riddled with dried roses that never left the door.
Floral prints and silk lace sheets,
All torn and faded,
Teatime talks in the summer heat,
Now teacups cold and summer shaded.
(Somewhere across the Eastern wall, you’ll also find gunshots,
The only place where daylight pierces me, in dispersed polka-dots.)
And you see, even in all this misery,
And because of all this misery,
The death of one woman, I still find time to remember,
If only because her life lived on like sun in December.
And from the Ommayad Mosque,
Her body, like incense is burning,
Floating over the dawn and the dusk,
Ever and homeward returning.