The house I left is buttoned up tight tonight, its orphaned olive trees gone liquid in the wind. I’m a trespasser for even remembering.
A holy union, bread and zataar. Liquor turned to cataract in water. The night smiled down lopsidedly, and you said I would surprise myself. I should have told you – I liked who I was under your roof. Your kindness was like excess butter I licked from knives, even as the foundation, something older in the ground, said “out.” I should say now: If the war ever rolls over the border. It will be the fault of millions, but please don’t forget me among them.
The walls wait for the future, incubating air. Great beasts carved out behind them in mother-of-pearl disguise their feelings now beneath a layer of dust. Portraits look for reassurance and find only other portraits. Also looking for reassurance. Mirrors eat remaining light.
I won’t say “if” – everything is made of patterns, as you know. The veins on leaves draw trees, the history of tides curdles into pearls.
When we meet again, it will be in altered states. Maybe in the black embrace, the prodigal Apocalypse making it to town at last – and turning liberator, smirking at borders, feeding Revelations to starved passport readers. Maybe whittling down to a new denouement, strange bodies growing on top of us like bark.
You won’t recognize me, but I will flinch and ask a mute question of your hands, filled with groceries and children. Something inside me, something fleshless, forming a gap. Reaching in for the mollusk at the bottom. Pandora’s Box gone slick in my hands. All of the evils of the world are things she didn’t have the power to forget.
For Ali Khasawneh