Tuesday, March 24, 2009


i would like to hear you sing me to sleep
but i'm afraid your voice will crack and break
with all the things you do not say.

and then i will be forced to admit
i do not know you at all.

swim to me

i will miss the smell of your skin
when i go across the ocean.

i would ask you to swim to me
but i know you would laugh
and think it was a joke.

and that would hurt me more than you know.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


i watch you change opinions like clothes
and try on love like shades of lipstick.

lipstick always tasted to me like a prison
chemical and thick, coating and smothering.
the ruby red
makes your teeth look brighter than they are.
you are so comfortable in deceit,
your second skin.

i will always remember you bare-lipped and laughing
when your teeth did not shine
back before you didn't love me.

i don't tell myself you never did
because that would hurt too much.
i know you will tell me now. i am ready.


i will remember you on flat rooftops
when i whisper your name into pomegranate trees
and whisper your description to the grape vines.

you do not fit here. flat rooftops hold my home
the world spread out before me
and you are far away.

you do not fit. i love you.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


i love you too much
to let you love me like this.

i will lie to your face and call it compassion.

forgive me, my love.


the blushes from their cheeks warm me when i am cold.
i love them, but do not have the words.

i hope they know. oh, how i hope they know.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

things i want to do with you

walk in madina qadima and pretend it is another time.
hold your hand on owul september with wedding henna on my fingers.

((watch you do fatiha with my father.))

talk in circles until something makes since.
laugh until i cry.
pray behind you.
listen to sounds that make my chest ache and maybe yours too.
listen to um kalthum and billy holiday until we forget where we are.
take pictures of you at sabrata with roman statues in the background.
compare you to the mosaics at liptis magna.
cook bazine for you.
hear your mother call me habibti.
kiss children with your nose and my eyes to sleep every night.
i haven't met you yet
but i will know when i do
because you will want to do all these things with me too.