Shoulder

This city is too big when I can’t place you on its map
you’re everywhere but here
how hard it is to cross paths with someone accidentally
how simple it is when it is planned
how true it is that we make our own way in this world
and I would make mine towards you, if only I knew how

I have my camera with me today
I normally tell you when I have my camera with me
but not this time
regardless, though, your chin will be resting gently on my shoulder
as always
and always.

A Small Reminder

I fear you are forgetting me
and so I write this small reminder
that I am still sat in that garden
which is no longer riddled with petals
but could still somehow be kinder.

I watch the sprouts we planted
they’re peeking through the soil
their small green heads are hesitant
they remember February’s toil

They know that once they come up
they will face the sun’s sustaining light
they will feel its warmth encompassing
its touch, its prospect, its bright

So, yes, the sprouts are wary
for they know of the sun’s rays
and how although they come out reaching
they always recede at the end of the day

And so they quiver in ground, a meadow of disheartened seedlings
for its painful to grow accustomed to something
that is so often prone to leaving.

Before Sleep

Here is your bed
which smells of you
you wouldn’t know it
but the people who love you do

Here is the curve your body made over time
here are two rows of lashes
meeting in a single dark line

Here is the quiet
the hush
the hum
here are all the thoughts you try to run from

Here passes the face of the person you miss
here comes the sudden phantom of that kiss

Here is the wondering what it means to be you
the answer changes nightly
but every answer is true

And here comes the stillness
may in it peace you find
look, there goes your soul – upwards
and your heart 
mingling with your mind.

New Star

I miss the sounds of engines
tearing through the night;
do you remember when you went 100
on that dark road beside our secret
and I gripped the seat and laughed?

The silence isn’t so bad
sounds reach me from every corner of the hills
dogs barking and insects chirping and children screaming;
spring is still spring, even now

The sirens don’t disturb me much anymore;
I forget about them until they seep in through the screen windows
and I stop at the kitchen sink with a suddy plate in my hands and think,
“Oh,
that’s right.”

Mama found a new star in the sky
she sees it when she’s on the balcony smoking
at first, she thought it was a plane
and watched it and waited for it to move but it didn’t;
she tells me to take a photo of it
I say my camera doesn’t go that far

I don’t know when I’ll see you again
I think about it sometimes — often
the weight of my body hitting into yours
and the way you’ll stumble backwards when you catch me;
if that star is still in the sky when we meet, I’ll point it out to you
and maybe
if we both reach together
we’ll be able to grasp it.

A Wind that Won’t Stop Blowing

Since February 8th
I have felt as if I were sitting on my knees in a garden in which all the flowers have been ripped out;
there is nothing around me but overturned soil and leftover petals
and a sweet perfume
that every moment gets swept away more completely
by a wind that won’t stop blowing.

Angel-light

I watch the blood swirl between my legs
it wasn’t my time, he did it to me
her gaze tugs at my sleeve
please, officer, don’t leave
it wasn’t her time, he tried to do it to her
I cuff him, he’s half-dead
he thought he could smuggle her into hell with him
he thought the red bouncer wouldn’t see
her angel-light burning through his overcoat
they sent her back up to me
I held her hand and took her home
“come, love, wash your face”
three full pumps of soap —
she washed her eyes first.

The Goblin

In Social Ethics class we were asked to make a creative project about a social issue that mattered to us. I decided to write a short children’s book about domestic violence in Jordan, told from the point of view of a child. My hope for this book is that it will raise awareness on the issue, as well as offer solace and strength to the children living in these abusive households, despite the fact they may not yet fully understand their circumstances.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback!

 


 

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Forgotten Things

I half-woke at night’s peak
he stirred me, he must have
and the first thing I felt was the breadth of the sky
and the boldness of each star
hinged there, pridefully in their domain;
I had forgotten they were of the throne

At night’s peak, heaven is widest
so wide that it engulfed the bed
and yet that warmth dragged at me
the warmth of my blood, which in sleep means ‘life’
which I knew once I had been drained of
though was somehow still kept breathing;
I remembered this curious fact at night’s peak
and other forgotten things

But they were not enough
not on their own
to shake me from my warmth
so he willed a timely reminder
an echo that met no walls;
I shuddered, the half-waking now full
and the starlight surged
and in its glow, I saw beneath me not a bed
but dirt.