August 22, 2016

How I Feel when You’re Gone. {Poetry}


“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
~ Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

I can make home the place I dream it could be.

I can skip emerald stones.
I can watch French movies.
Their slow-paced painted canvases show me the way.
Show me the sadness that is still in my soul, today.
All the things I don’t want to accept —yet know I will have to.
I can murmur a word from them, or two.

I can have coffee.

I lose composure at the fact that you’re not the one who made it.
But relentlessly, I sup it up.
At times, I find it so tasteless, now that you’re not here.
At times, its bitter-sweetness gives perfect justice to this analogy.
I can bake or cook, filled with unease.
I can learn patience and learn to take my time.

{Dans tes bras, dans tes bras…}

I can daydream of lilac and hazy phone booths.
I can stare at train stations and metro platforms.
I can blow stars and comets and meteors, from a spacey bubble blower.
For a girl like me to fall in love is…pure danger.
We’re not crazy, we’re just in pain.
Collecting precious little things in boxes with wings, like airplanes.

I will lie, trying to collect myself…

Until you come back to me.
Darling, we’re growing scurried and old.
My ear witnessed love when your honey tongue whispered,
“You’re too pretty to be this sad.”
In my defense, I say,
“Your soul comes in black sapphire.”

I can make music with this coconut guitar.

{Sans toi, sans toi, sans toi…}

I’ve always wondered what made me succumb—
Your remnants of light or inevitable dark?
I can jeopardize my sanity and listen to the birds.
I can eat too little and move a lot.
I can listen to the sound of a coffee machine, grinding and dripping…
And be a dreamer, for a change.

I can have red wine at night.

I can climb ladders. I can take stairs—lots of them,
Focused on how I sound, when I heavily breathe.
I can knit some beautiful things.
It shall oblige me just to sit.
I am deprived of you.
“But words come so beautifully out of your mouth,” I tell you often.

{Toujours, toujours, dans mes rêves…}

I can love.

I can press my lips to metal and glass.
I can tear myself apart.
I can fall after a Chaturanga and cry.
I can curse at this exuberant sky,
I am deprived of you,
So I am deprived.

But you know and despise that I crave some distance—
It turns on my creative side.
I can hide in the horizon,
Grasping at apertures of color and light.
I can walk with tired feet.
I can lie down.

I can stare at my knees.

There they are…
Some things I can do,
Until my mind returns to you.
Your milky-way chest and waterfall back, coffee skin, fingertips and dreads.
I can keep on,
Missing them.

I can get so consumed, like ashes do.

There’s an abstract thought I might pull myself together, a tiny possibility.
I can keep on writing songs and poetry.
I wished I was a moon and a half.
I wished I could stand, alone and tall.
I wished we could heal each other—
Crying together—standing, naked, in the shower.

But the red wine is dead now,
And the wings are clipped.
The candles have burnt and melted.
The bed is so full of dust, it dissipates…
Our polished writings couldn’t save anyone,
nor could our chained melodies.

    Author: Salma Shehab 

   Image: Holly Lay/Flickr

   Apprentice editor: Catherine Simmons; Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

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