The last few words, for the last time, burying the final letters of a dead love poem.

Dubai, 26/03/2011

It only hurts in the mornings, before language.

It has taken days to commit this poem to breath.
The words far flung
nailed themselves to my reclined body,
to my limbs as wide as the city between us, and were adamantly born.
There is a continent between us.
Entire civilizations between us.
The soft words you didn’t mutter between us,
my feet trudging hallways interior,
to move away, a railing between us,
keeps me from stumbling,
defeat imprinted on every still image of our flight.

The taxi speeds through lights,
through the darkness of the last time I saw your eyes.
It is dawn outside and I have crawled the night,
parched animal in heat,
anxious for an ocean of hands not your own.

A radio prayer is wistful,
a voice supplicant to a god we never loved between us.
The driver does not make sense of this,
but I ask him to let the words pulsate loud,
fill the empty air, fill the damn hole in my chest, fill the failure you bequeathed us.
Me, a woman clothed in
willful nakedness, a taxi driver silent, and garish it is, this despair.

I, a heathen. You,
the man who does not love me.

A prayer in a city with little faith.

The driver and I, mute. Perhaps he thought, let God mend her. Perhaps, I thought so too.

The Arabic words were tongues of peace, as quiet as the hum of your absence inside me, present.

I have been glancing at brown men,
hair of yours, eyes of yours, solid muscles of yours,
those k’s and t’s and quick raspy words tumbled out like quakes you perpetually assaulted a welcoming body I gave.
the rolling fruits of trees I fathom not,
I listen
I listen to the pitches of voices repeating you,
the lilt and flow of all that we needed to translate,
badly, between us.

Language barred to me,
frozen in words- your fingers-,
the pauses- your breath in sleep-,
the laughter- your thrusting body-,
the cries- our kisses that ripen-,
the questions exclamations- punctuation of all that ended-,
a dictionary of mystery
I hunted,
a maze of you, till
there was only bare gravel for toes bleeding, till there was nothing but fog as far as the arms can hold.
The letters of your language- little darts-
poisoned memory,
a book, untold.

The nighttime city understands.
A brown man writes on stone. He longs for other homes, and arms he may have known. He speaks your language, and other beautiful brown eyes that speak my own, explain.

“That which your heart desires and pains for the most, is the most inaccessible”.

I ache in abandoned places.
I am not of stone.

And here we are, writers, together,
a lexicon of English resplendent,
un-ending flourishes in your fancy ink pen,
your curvy turns of phrases clever, signify nothing,
repel those raw
frantic verses I cried an everyday a storm of lines
showered into the illusionary green field I painted of you. That ritual I worshipped.
But you,
you have no faith.

And here we are, writers, separate.
And here we are,
a million words possible, and no way for you to ever understand.
And I,
the thousand ways I did not translate.

It hurts the most in the mornings, before language.


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