A Love Poem:
When we are in love, we do not whisper,
we do not talk too much, we forget poetry
easily and all it represents in imageries.
We watch an elocutionist stutter in utter
shock. We see a bird sitting on an olive tree
look beyond the grove, look beyond the road,
far into the sea and we stare into the sea
and find deserts in waters. No sea waves
slapping at the shore, no boats, no sailors,
no mullet smoked on a wood oven, no child
building a sand-castle. We wonder why this is
only to see a rice field blighted with diseases,
a child in Maiduguri whorled in shackles
because he is found at the European shore,
running away from war, away from shadows.
Why, Beloved, say I do not love you as you want
but I have sworn upon my mother’s frets
that I do. For what better way I will say you
remind me of poems unwritten, books I wish
to leaf through unopened and words
at their silence? What better way to say
each time I think of your bed, I am gripped by
the hands of a little boy with eyes plucked
out by scavengers? Let the sun set and I will
smoothen your back with musk and saffron,
grab your waist, send chills down your spine.
But I see them still, eating into my sleep,
seated in my eyes— young boys from Aleppo,
old men in Afghanistan spared by bullets.
I love you, Beloved— Amen. Till death do us part.
Here I am slipping, here you are sleeping
beside me, refrigerating the sun rays,
with soft face transitioning into beams,
sculpted into chairs with long, wide, legs,
of broadsword, of ironclad, like the steeled
shoes of a horse gambolling inside your belly.
Here I prey, here you pray, and your words
stray into the eyes of God, and He sends forth
for Mikhail among His angels, and you scoop
a feline with paws larger than a leopard’s,
feed it with purrs from rainy mist and rats
gathered in body-bags, too shock to breathe.
Here I am dying, here you are dyeing, nose
twitched, eyes obscured into the remnants
of your morn. I watch you too closely as you
lower the fabrics into steaming tubs, moored
by diligence with spine arched by cold stone,
and hands fumbling with sweet afterglows.
Here while I write, here you say it’s not right,
and a cold wind like a razor scrape across
my face. And I am stung by nettles in the
imageries I stain, poetry in departures, I,
waved at with both hands. Song about the
moon falling fast into flames and memories.
Here does not feel like home, for I am at the
enemy’s ground, for I live off on colours that
disagree with yours, for I wave black and I
wave beards and I wave a turban and I wave
God that mentions the contingency of bombs,
and I shoot, shoot a sparrow; and you shoot
shoot an empty nest? I am in chains because
a sparrow holds a breath and a nest but empty.