Somewhere in your hometown, on a nondescript piece of asphalt is permanently stained. Your blood. Your precious, fragrant, expensive blood. I wonder, did the ground mourn as I do, having felt the remainder of your life seeping from your body? Did it curse your killer and promise to be a witness for you in front of God, having absorbed your blood into itself? Did it seethe with anger?
Your blood, I’m sure, has been wiped away by passing cars, by the heat of the Egyptian sun, by the torrid rains of the Egyptian winter. To the naked eye, you are gone. But regardless of seasons and regardless of the elements, that piece of ground will always be stained with your blood.
My heart will always be stained with losing you.
The night is long
and what was once just a passageway into life has become the essence of it.
here, time does not move
here is as dark as the bottom of the ocean, the kind of darkness that surrounds, the kind of darkness that invades, that owns.
I attempt to not let the dark own me
I attempt to remind myself that morning will come
in just one hour
the sun will be up and it will fill in the places that are broken.
darkness has its pearls as the ocean,
but sunshine, o sweet miraculous sunshine…
I crave you like the very love, the very blood that keeps my body alive.
I believe sunshine will return, or I will return to it,
but still, the night is so long without you.
Losing you is like waking up to a world that has lost its sun. My heart becomes infertile without the drops of liquid gold tilling its soil. How is it that they expect me to move past our love when losing you is like losing water in the depth of the desert? Perhaps they have not felt the coolness of love as it is gulped in desperation by those with hearts as parched and aching as mine was. Perhaps they do not understand the meaning of losing you, for you are not the only one lost, my love. I now wander from day to day having lost sight of you, having seen you cold, having seen things no woman can bear to see.
And yet I bear it because my child needs the sun to grow and play. I have lost you, my beautifully effervescent friend, so I take your place and shine, that she may one day know a love as bright as I have known.
go to your secret place
ascend to a time and space where you are untouchable
where what they say and do can’t reach you, can’t hurt you.
go there for a time until you have satisfied your soul,
until your child’s cries pierce the still night air.
now return, survive, stand up and make your way through the prison cells of reality
but do not despair when they try to pull the light from your eyes
or when the dampness of time and sorrow has left you cold when the sun sets
go to sleep one more night, cover your bones with impenetrable layers of patience.
perchance they will warm you,
perchance someday you will be free.
Walk Home with me, my cherub.
Stand next to me in the spot where Baba used to be, and do not worry – I will carry you when you become fatigued, and God will carry me when the burden is too heavy.
Hold onto me and don’t let your grasp loosen. If you become lost in the crowd, come sit on my shoulders and look above them.
Build with me a bridge to pass the pain, and to patch our wounded hearts. Place the bricks with me, one by one.
Plant with me, my love, our gardens in Paradise: SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar. There, I have given you the seeds, hold them tight in your tiny hands until you’re old enough to send them into Jannah’s soil.
Walk forward with me, my sunshine, we only have today to do the work we need to.
The journey will end so soon, and inshaAllah, tomorrow we will be Home.
My face is now masculine. Aged inwardly though perhaps it hasn’t changed.
Rest assured I wear many faces for them, I employ devices of deception. I am unable to release myself into grief, I hold the reigns tight and do not lose a moment of wakefulness without knowing I am upholding the correct image.
The trouble, as with all reigns, is that they snap if held too tight.
The trouble is, I have aged inwardly and it shows. My face isn’t the same unburdened canvas it once was. When I look in the mirror I see lines of age, not wisdom. I see marks of fatigue and not laughter.
We have both changed, you see. Not just you.
And I am afraid when I come home one of these days, you will no longer recognize me.
Meet my by the edge of my dreams, in the moments I drift into your realm.
Reach for me where you will find me, perhaps I may dream of you and your smile.
Find me amongst the souls that wander, call my name, perhaps I will hear your voice and come.
Perhaps time will not hurt as it does if your hand touches my forehead again and tells me nothing in this world is worth your tears.
I am alone
I know that God has not left me alone
but in the moments where I look at the place you used to sit on your laptop, or remember the sound of your footsteps outside when you woke in the middle of the night, in those moments I am alone, waiting for my prison sentence to be over
waiting to have a garden of palm trees that I do not have to tend
waiting to hear your footsteps on hollowed pearls
waiting to not hurt anymore
you are gone, more than going on a day trip to another city and returning to me, like you did before. No, you are gone this time. And my chest is constricted, and when I press my hand over my heart to make sure it doesn’t fall from its cavity, it feels empty, I can hear the echoes of where you used to be.
You are gone, and so I am homeless on this earth, destined to wander for some years or days, I do not know, until I can reach towards you again, and not be met by the emptiness of air.
September 29, 2013
I used to be able to touch the line dividing me from you. I’d follow it, looking at it getting thinner with each day that passed. But now I forget, now my fingers are just peeling onions and massaging the back of my own neck. I begin to forget that the line is becoming fainter with each passing moment.
I do not forget you.
I do not forget the dull ache that has nested in my heart, that has decided to breed and remain.
Days are lighter than air now, they exist merely as a point of passing, merely as road signs that tell me I am nearing you. The kilometres are winding down. That is all, that is it.
I do not forget my own laboured breathing, the knots in the pit of my stomach telling me that it was over. I cannot forget.
I do not forget you though perhaps I should. Perhaps then I could close my eyes and imagine that I could see sunlight again, or feel purity of rain on my skin, or smell the sweetness of love.
Perhaps then I could look at our daughter and see her true beauty instead of only seeing the pain that will fill her eyes when she realizes what she has lost in you.
September 14, 2013
I am coming home,
with black and red seeping through my skin,
with clouded senses and vague numbness.
I am coming home,
your wedding band and daughter in hand.
Nights have passed, and mornings have passed.
There has been rain and sun and wind,
and my heart was made public with grief for the loss of your smell
and your hands and your laugh.
But I am coming home,
to where blood is not spilled, children not orphaned, hearts not trampled,
wait for me by the edge, perhaps we can talk into eternity.